CEA - California Environmental Associates

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Job Type: Full Time
Location: San Francisco,

About the Organization

California Environmental Associates (CEA) is a boutique environmental consultancy based in San Francisco, CA. For more than 30 years, CEA has helped transform markets, business practices, public policies, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic strategies to achieve positive outcomes for the environment.

CEA’s Philanthropic Services group is a tight-knit team of fifteen consultants that supports the work of environmental foundations and nonprofits, as well as sustainability-oriented businesses. Our work spans several issue areas including marine conservation, climate change, energy policy, sustainable agriculture, land use and conservation, freshwater management, transportation, and wildlife protection. The geographic nature of projects varies, but most of our work is global or international in scope. With respect to the group’s services, our main functions for clients include the following:

  • Program design: CEA frequently develops new grantmaking strategies for foundations as well as strategic plans for NGOs.
  • Analysis and research: CEA specializes in producing neutral, in-depth analyses for our clients. We regularly blend qualitative data from expert interviews with technical analysis of large data sets and relevant scientific literature.
  • Landscape review and program evaluations: Clients often commission landscape-level reviews on the state of philanthropic and NGO activity in a given field. We also conduct program evaluations for foundations, in some cases running monitoring and evaluation programs for them.
  • Organizational development and support: CEA writes business and operational plans, and has incubated new NGOs, led the launch of international offices, and helped organizations work through critical transitions.

For a more in-depth description of our services and philosophy, please see our website: www.ceaconsulting.com.

Associate Position

CEA is looking for an Associate to provide support to the firm’s Philanthropic Services Practice Area. The successful applicant will be responsible for the day-to-day management of large and complex consulting engagements for clients, including large environmentally focused foundations, NGOs, and bilateral and multilateral agencies. The Associate will work primarily on a project supporting a new oceans-focused philanthropic venture. The organization is the brainchild of a Palo Alto–based family that wants to leverage out-of-the-box thinking, technology, and new inventions to dramatically improve our ocean’s health and the livelihoods of the people who depend on it.

CEA’s work environment is collaborative and intensive, and staff regularly engage in travel, both domestic and international. The position requires intellectual rigor, independence, demonstrated attention to detail, and a passion for environmental issues. This exciting position will provide opportunities for interaction with key stakeholders and engagement with emerging issues in the environmental sector.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Participate in problem structuring, including work planning, issues analysis, process planning, etc.
  • Conduct in-depth research and analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, using literature reviews, interviews with issue experts and stakeholders, and data collection.
  • Draft and design written documents; produce clear and engaging presentations and reports.
  • Interact with clients and manage project communications.
  • Ensure quality control of outgoing work products and correspondence.
  • Assist in marketing efforts, helping in the production of summary memos, proposals, and presentations as needed.


The successful applicant will have many of the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, master’s degree or MBA preferred
  • At least two to four years of relevant work experience in a management consultancy, foundation, nonprofit, investment firm, or technology company
  • Experience in ocean conservation, marine policy, and/or fisheries issues required
  • Experience in the tech sector, engineering, and/or product development a plus
  • Project management experience and a history of involvement in analytically complex projects
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Experience in excel or statistical software and graphic design experience, all valuable assets
  • Ability to work under pressure and uncertainty, prioritize and multitask
  • An optimistic, curious, and strategic approach to problem solving and interest in high-risk, innovative, and complex projects
  • Comfort in a startup environment where ideas, systems, and structures are iterated, and trial and error are expected
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively communicate with senior management
  • Foreign language skills a plus
  • A deep commitment to conservation causes

Compensation and Benefits

The expected start date for this position is spring 2019. The position will be located in San Francisco, California. CEA offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. 

To Apply

To be considered for this position, interested candidates must click "Apply to this Job" to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA's job portal. This position will remain open until filled.

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