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Environmental Planning Director - Gulf Coast

Company: SWCA Environmental Consultants
Location: Baton Rouge
Posted on: November 20, 2023

Job Description:

Environmental Planning Director - Gulf Coast

Requisition Number


# of Openings


Office Location

US-TX-Houston - US-TX - US-LA-Baton Rouge


Operational Management

Hire Type




About the opportunity

SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking an Environmental Planning Director to lead the growth and expansion of our Planning and NEPA team in the Gulf Coast subregion. This position requires technical expertise in NEPA compliance, with a specific focus federal environmental permit authorization for Oil and Gas Projects that require NEPA compliance (including FERC, DOE, USACE, and USCG/MARAD), and Federal Grant Programs (including FEMA, HUD/CDBG, CPRA, and NRCS disaster recovery and mitigation grant programs; along with the ability to lead experts and team members across the planning discipline to consistently produce work of superior quality. Previous experience with managing NEPA compliance projects for TxDOT and LaDOTD projects is also highly preferred. This position also requires excellent leadership skills to successfully manage the execution of project work, cultivate our business development processes, deliver for our clients, and build an exceptional planning team. The Gulf Coast Planning Director will report to the Vice President of the Gulf Coast subregion. This is a regular, full-time, salaried position with compensation based on individual qualifications and experience. This position can be based in any SWCA Houston, Texas office (or Baton Rouge, Louisiana). Highly qualified, remote candidates will also be seriously considered. When it comes to SWCA's natural resources, cultural resources and planning practices, the Gulf Coast subregion is an area of excellence renowned for the quality of our work, commitment to our clients, and unparalleled team of professionals. We continuously strive to be the premier environmental consultancy in this market by offering a work environment that promotes employee engagement and development. The successful candidate will coordinate closely with peers across the South Region and throughout the company. This position offers a unique opportunity for team leadership and professional development in this dynamic market. Candidates must submit a brief letter of interest with their application that describes their vision for this position. Note: Applications are due by November 10th, 2023

What you will accomplish

People Leadership (35% of workload):

  • Lead the growth and expansion of our Planning and NEPA team in Gulf Coast subregion.
  • Identify gaps in planning resources expertise, identify and attract top talent to SWCA, and advocate for strategic hires when needed.
  • Support career mobility and growth within SWCA through active coaching and mentorship of team members.
  • Promote a culture of leadership, teamwork, engagement, high-quality service, and client satisfaction.
  • Directly manage principal, lead, and project-level staff.
  • Drive engagement of the team by recognizing high performance and implementing approaches that build and sustain high levels of motivation.
  • Connect with staff, peers, and senior management by leading regular staff meetings, brown bags, and trainings and contributing to regular regional and national leadership meetings.
  • Facilitate collaboration with other Natural Resources and Planning teams across the company, and among the planning and cultural resource teams.
  • Participate in setting business goals for the office.
  • Cascade objectives through the organization to align local efforts and regional/national goals.
  • Manage resource allocation and coordinate across SWCA to enable successful project delivery. Technical Leadership (30% of workload)
    • Take responsibility for implementing SWCA Quality Control Procedures within the Gulf Coast Planning Program. Ensure that the program meets its commitments to quality and create an environment of accountability for meeting agreed-upon expectations through the use of tools and controls, such as quality audits.
    • Create and ensure the use of a process to systematically gather and apply lessons learned on technical performance across projects.
    • Create a culture where experimenting to find new solutions is valued and supported.
    • Support the execution of work by managing projects and contracts, as well as providing senior-level technical leadership and support. Develop and approve research designs.
    • Leverage experts effectively, engaging the right talent to achieve project objectives.
    • Ensure that the planning program has the space, tools, and research aids that it needs, including reference libraries, subscriptions, and field gear.
    • Stay current on relevant regulations and communicate changes and trends to staff and clients.
    • Coordinate with the nationwide NEPA Technical Director, Practice Group Champions, and the Practice Group in general to advance local and nationwide technical needs and initiatives.
    • Ensure that the work of each unit of the planning program, including operations and maintenance programs with streamlined regulatory environments (e.g., oil and gas, electric transmission and disaster recovery business lines), is executed in complementary and coordinated ways. Establish systems and programs to produce consistent results.
    • Represent the Gulf Coast subregion in regional and national conversations concerning NEPA, planning, and policy. Client and Market Leadership (25% of workload)
      • Maintain and generate awareness of market and industry trends, particularly the latest regulatory changes or technical advances, that impact the business through news sources, event attendance, and using your professional network. Build SWCA's brand as a thought leader in the science of environmental consulting.
      • Identify new technically focused opportunities to diversify the business, contribute to go/no-go analyses and lead teams (or act as leading technical contributor) in their pursuit. Provide senior review of proposals.
      • Contribute to the growth and maintenance of client relationships, both locally and regionally. Financial Leadership (10% of workload)
        • Contribute to the development and management of the operational budget, particularly with regards to tools and trainings needed to accomplish program goals and ensure that budget objectives are achieved throughout the year through tracking and sound financial decision making.
        • Ensure appropriate level of review and approval of proposals, contracts, budgets, and expenditures through mastery of and adherence to the SWCA approvals matrix.
        • Monitor financial KPIs and redirect efforts as needed (e.g., productivity/utilization, multipliers, overruns, sales, etc.).
        • Work with Project Controls to conduct quality audits of projects within area of responsibility to ensure that projects are on track, risks are mitigated, and issues are escalated and resolved.
        • Facilitate communication between project managers, project controls, and accounts receivable.

          Experience and qualifications for success

          • Graduate degree in planning, environmental studies, environmental management, or a field related to SWCA's planning services is preferred.
          • A minimum of 10 years of experience in NEPA. Experience should include leading teams, office work, and report completion, as well as reviews of technical work products, and scheduling and budgeting of projects.
          • Expert-level experience in NEPA compliance, with a specific focus federal environmental permit authorization for Oil and Gas Projects that require NEPA compliance (including FERC, DOE, USACE, and USCG/MARAD), and Federal Grant Programs (including FEMA, HUD/CDBG, CPRA, and NRCS disaster recovery and mitigation grant programs;
          • Working knowledge of the Gulf Coast market and deep familiarity with its resources is preferred.
          • Experience in the electric transmission and transportation (TxDOT and LaDOTD) planning processes is preferred.
          • Expert-level understanding of federal, state, and local regulations relevant to NEPA and environmental permitting in Gulf Coast region.
          • Demonstrated success mentoring, developing, and coaching staff.
          • Extensive experience building and maintaining strong partnerships, both internal and external.
          • Strong client-facing skills (e.g., communication, relationship building, problem solving).
          • Proven record of developing new business and leading major proposal efforts. Why Work at SWCA: SWCA Environmental Consultants is a growing employee-owned firm, providing a full-spectrum of environmental services. Our Vision (the North Star) is to make SWCA the best workplace and industry leader in sustainability, bringing sound science and creative solutions to global environmental challenges while maintaining a dedication to employee-ownership. We live our core values: we collaborate as #OneSWCA; we are #AlwaysLearning, we #NeverSettle, and we #GiveBack. We are 100% employee-owned, and we build our success together. With offices across the United States, SWCA is one of the largest environmental compliance firms and ranks among Engineering News-Record's Top 200 Environmental Firms. We offer a supportive, team-oriented work environment and competitive wages and benefits, including an 100% employee stock ownership plan (retirement). At SWCA, we support our team members in developing their careers to make them leaders in their industry. Our Career Landscape initiative is a process and guide designed to help develop chart rewarding career paths for employees at SWCA. We encourage professional conference attendance, internal and external professional development and training programs, education reimbursement, a Science and Leadership Program, and bonuses for publications meeting certain criteria. All regular status employees are eligible to participate in SWCA medical, dental, vision, employee assistance, wellness, life and disability plans, and are eligible to participate in the SWCA 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan and Trust. If you would like to contact SWCA regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the online application process due to a disability, please email or call 1-480-581-5378. This contact information is for disability accommodation requests only. All other inquiries will not receive a response. EOE - women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply. SWCA is committed to salary equity and salary transparency for all its employees. In alignment with this commitment, SWCA posts good faith pay ranges in all its advertised job postings to promote pay equity and transparency. An employee in this Houston, TX-based position can expect an annual salary of $123,396.00 - $161,616.00/year. Actual pay within this range may depend on experience, qualifications, geographic location, client requirements where applicable, and other factors permitted by law. Regular-status employees are also eligible for performance bonuses. Candidates are also encouraged to consider SWCA's Total Rewards package, which includes a competitive Benefits package, forward-thinking workplace flexibility, outstanding corporate culture, award-winning career development, and more. #ind-swca #LI-NJ1

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Keywords: SWCA Environmental Consultants, Baton Rouge , Environmental Planning Director - Gulf Coast, Accounting, Auditing , Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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