Principal Associate (Water)

Environmental Science Associates (ESA)

Various, CA, US


Environmental Science Associates (ESA) is an environmental science, planning, and design consulting firm committed to the principles of sound science, technical excellence, integrity, and the promotion of outstanding decision making and sustainability. As a 100-percent employee-owned company with offices located in California, Washington, Oregon and Florida, continuing to meet the needs of our clients as well as the strategic aspirations of our employee-owners requires that we look to add the very best professional talent throughout our practices and offices. Specializing in project planning, environmental analysis and assessment, natural and cultural resources management, environmental restoration and design, and regulatory compliance, ESA’s scientists, historians, planners, designers, and technical specialists provide critical thinking and in-depth analysis to guide successful policy development, project planning, and the creation of enduring multi-objective solutions. Joining ESA means becoming part of a family of environmental professionals for whom every day involves growing your career, learning, creativity, fun, and the satisfaction knowing that you’ve contributed to outstanding iconic projects, improved environmental stewardship, and a more sustainable future for our communities and wild places.

About the Position:

ESA has a unique leadership opportunity in our Southern California Water Group for a Principal Associate to help ESA’s clients navigate the increasingly complex and interconnected needs of business, environment, and society in the face of water supply  and utility service challenges. The candidate will work on behalf of ESA’s clients to provide CEQA/NEPA planning services, environmental analysis and natural resources permitting for water infrastructure development. The candidate will also provide leadership in business strategy and marketing, and contribute to all stages of business development. This position is available our San Diego, Irvine, or Los Angeles offices.


The successful candidate should be an industry expert in issues related to CEQA and NEPA compliance, environmental analysis and permit compliance for water, wastewater, and recycled water infrastructure development. The candidate for this position will have an outstanding reputation in the industry with the capabilities and expertise in management of large-scale and complex projects involving CEQA and NEPA, regulatory compliance, and public engagement and outreach. It is expected that the successful candidate will possess strong client relationships and demonstrated experience in new business development. Candidates must possess effective problem-solving ability, excellent writing skills, and the ability to succeed in a team-oriented culture. Qualified candidates should have a BA/BS in a related discipline and a minimum of 15 years’ experience; Masters and a minimum of 12 years’ experience; or Ph.D. and a minimum of 10 years’ experience.


ESA is owned entirely by its employees, creating a unique ownership culture rooted in a commitment to do work that matters, technical excellence and professional development.  ESA’s comprehensive compensation and benefits program reflects our commitment to our employees. Our benefits include: 401(k) Salary Deferral Plan with company match program, Employee Stock Ownership Plan, medical and dental insurance vision care, paid vacation, sick leave, 9 paid holidays, group term life insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, commuter/transit incentives, healthcare and daycare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), tuition reimbursement assistance, performance bonus plan, and employee referral bonus program.