Business Group Director (Water)

Environmental Science Associates (ESA)

Seattle, WA, US

About the Position:

Environmental Science Associates (ESA) seeks a Water Business Group Director to lead and grow our position in the Northwest Region’s water market. We are looking for an experienced environmental consultant who has successfully managed and implemented a wide range of environmental projects involving water and wastewater infrastructure, water supply and delivery, stormwater management, and floodplain management in the Pacific Northwest.

The selected candidate will be an environmental scientist or planner who can oversee and guide a growing team of planners and scientists in ESA’s water business unit. The Director will work within a multi-disciplinary, multi-office region of natural resources scientists, environmental and community planners, archaeologists, water resources engineers, and landscape architects. This individual will be responsible for growing and advancing the water practice through successful marketing and business development, and be able to demonstrate a successful track record in identifying, pursuing, and delivering SEPA/NEPA, environmental, and permitting services to water clients. The selected candidate will have a strong professional network and excellent reputation among private, municipal, state, and federal water agencies, providers, regulators, and managers.

Management responsibilities will include oversight, strategic direction, quality assurance, and technical oversight of ESA’s Northwest water business group. The group delivers a range of products and services such as environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, checklists, floodplain management studies, alternatives analyses, and permit application documents for water-related projects. Some recent examples include the Programmatic EIS for Seattle Public Utilities’ CSO Program, the Chehalis River Floodplain EIS, the Midlakes Pump Station Replacement Project for City of Bellevue, the Kachess Reservoir Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance NEPA/SEPA EIS, and Pierce County’s Farming in the Floodplain project.

The ideal candidate will have successfully managed complex, large-scale (>$1M) EISs for major water infrastructure projects. This candidate also must have a history of successful team-building, vision setting, strategy development and business plan implementation. The position will have profit-loss responsibility for the business unit, will report to ESA’s Northwest Regional Director and ESA’s Water Practice Leader, and will participate as a member of ESA’s Northwest Region Leadership Team.

This position provides a tremendous opportunity for a senior water professional to lead strategic growth and development within the Puget Sound / Northwest Region. The selected candidate will join an extensive team of environmental professionals at ESA working along the West Coast and be part of a focused companywide strategic initiative to expand ESA’s position in this important area of work.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Take operational oversight for the Northwest water business group, monitor and achieve key performance metrics for revenue and profitability.
  • Lead business development, marketing, and client stewardship activities including identifying clients and project opportunities, preparing proposals, and leading interview teams to win work.
  • Oversee detailed environmental studies and major SEPA and/or NEPA evaluations, oversee and interpret analysis, and manage a range of water-related projects from concept through to construction.
  • Develop and implement water group business plans for the Northwest Region.
  • Recruit, manage, and supervise planners and other technical staff to ensure that project and client needs are met in a timely and effective manner, and facilitate professional development of staff.
  • Manage projects from initiation to close-out including negotiating scopes of work and being accountable for meeting schedule and budget requirements.
  • Perform quality assurance and quality control functions consistent with the company’s QA/QC Plan.
  • Meet and coordinate with clients, agencies, stakeholders, and contractors to achieve project goals.
  • Present project and technical work to clients, agencies, peers, and the public.


  • Minimum of 15 years of experience managing environmental evaluation of water, wastewater, and/or floodplain management projects in the Pacific Northwest; experience in the Puget Sound region is highly desired.
  • B.S. degree in environmental science, planning and policy, or closely related field; M.S. degree preferred.
  • Ability to deliver projects developed collaboratively with multi-disciplinary teams.
  • At least 5 years of experience managing a business unit.
  • Proven ability to win high-profile projects evaluating water and wastewater resources.
  • Experience working with agencies involved in providing, managing, and regulating water utilities and water resources (i.e., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Reclamation, King County WLRD, etc. and similar entities).
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Knowledge and expertise with key environmental laws and policies including SEPA, NEPA, Clean Water Act, etc., and the implications these laws/policies have on water infrastructure projects.



ESA is owned entirely by its our employees, creating a unique ownership culture rooted in a commitment to do work that matters, technical excellence, and outstanding client service, professional development, and life-long learning. 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.