Science and Technical Support Section Manager (Environmental Programs Section Manager)

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Administration / Clerical
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Posted on January 1, 2021

The Water and Land Resources Division is seeking qualified applicants for the Environmental Programs Section Manager of the Science and Technical Support Section.

The Science and Technical Support Section of the Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD) is responsible for providing scientific information to inform important environmental policy and management decisions that protect natural resources and advance equity for all King County residents. Section staff collaborate on programs and provide scientific support throughout the Water and Land Resources Division, to other divisions in the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, other King County Departments, and the County Executive’s Office. Current work is guided by the Clean Water, Healthy Habitat Plan. Section work includes monitoring and technical support for numerous environmental programs, capital projects, and policy issues, often in collaboration with other agencies in the region. For further detail on the Science and Technical Support Section's activities, please see:

The Science and Technical Support Section manager reports to the Division Director and oversees a staff of approximately 40 environmental scientists and administrative professionals with an annual operating budget of approximately $7.5 million. In addition, the Section Manager is a member of the WLRD management team, helping to set and implement the long-term strategic direction for the Division.  

Who is Eligible: This position is open to the public.

Permanent Telecommuting Requirement
The work associated with this position will be performed remotely on a permanent basis.  There will be situations where the employee is required to report to a County worksite. Employees must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.

Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.   Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team.

Work Location: Primarily teleworking and the King Street Center 201 S. Jackson St., Seattle WA 98104

Work Schedule: This position is exempt from the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) and is not overtime eligible. This full-time position works a 40-hour work week.

Job Duties

  • Direct the development and implementation of scientific support to County environmental programs, such as stormwater, wastewater, habitat and land protection, and climate change response strategies.  
  • Advise division and department directors regarding best available science pertinent to King County’s environmental management programs.
  • Direct preparation, implementation and monitoring of the section's annual work plan to support the division mission and priorities, including advancing the Clean Water, Healthy Habitat Initiative.  
  • Direct the work of scientific and engineering professionals conducting multidisciplinary scientific monitoring, modeling and assessment efforts in a highly integrated and collaborative manner throughout the division.
  • Manage client relationships by providing quality control of section products (e.g., reports, presentations), reviewing them for accuracy and clarity, and ensuring they meet client needs for quality, cost, and timeliness.  
  • Ensure section staff meet division, department and Executive expectations regarding the implementation of the Equity and Social Justice Initiative.
  • Ensure section meets Best-Run-Government objective, including developing and implementing continuous system improvements that bring about efficiencies or advance outcomes, using LEAN or other techniques.  
  • Work in partnership with the King County Environmental Lab and other WLRD Section managers to prioritize resources, programs, and services and take a leadership role in resolving conflicts when needed.
  • Supervise section unit supervisors and administrative staff, including hiring and evaluating staff performance, assigning work and evaluating results, and ensuring that HR and Union policies are followed.
  • Work with WLRD Finance staff to prepare and monitor the section's budget; ensure revenue and expenses are consistent with the approved budget; and develop and advocate for budget initiatives and proposals.  
  • Ensure that the operational needs of the section are met, adapting and thriving in a remote work environment.
  • Represent King County and coordinate input on regional scientific or policy initiatives.  
  • Maintain section adherence to division safety protocols, communication and media protocols, and other internal policies and protocols.  
  • Respond to information requests from the department and division directors, and Executive Office and Council.  
  • Ensure Section staff remain highly engaged, motivated, and productive, using personal interactions, staff meetings and other means.  
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the section and Division's Business Plan and other Strategic plans, such as the strategic workforce plan.
  • Serve as an active member of the division's management team.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Our Ideal Candidate Will Have The Following Competencies:

  • Collaborates - Building Partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Communicates Effectively - Developing and delivering multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
  • Builds Effective Teams - Building strong-identity teams that apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
  • Decision Quality - Makes good and timely decisions based upon a mixture of analysis, knowledge, experience and judgement.
  • Managing Complexity - Making sense of complex, high quality, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems.
  • Organizational Savvy - Maneuvering comfortably through complex policy, process, and people-related organizational dynamics.
  • Strategic Mindset - Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.  
Required Qualifications:
  • A Bachelor's degree in the Physical or Natural Sciences, Environmental Engineering, Public Administration, or related field; OR a combination of experience and education, AND at least five (5) years of progressive management experience leading, supervising and directing science/technical staff that focus on environmental or natural resource programs.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including experience communicating technical information to diverse technical and non-technical audiences, such as senior managers and Council staff; program practitioners; residents; regional scientists; stakeholder groups; and tribes.
  • Skill in communicating a long-term vision, supporting and motivating others, and moving a group towards defined goals.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining working relationships with diverse groups, conflict resolution, and negotiation skills.  
  • Understanding of public policy development, the role of science in policy, and strategic planning.  
  • Experience reviewing and interpreting scientific/technical documents and directing work of multidisciplinary scientists.
  • Experience working in a political environment, for a public governmental agency.
  • Experience in managing operational needs for a group or organization, such as information technology, space, field equipment and vehicles.
  • Experience in financial management and public budgeting processes.  
  • Experience in the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of wastewater, stormwater, toxics, and/or habitat protection issues and programs.  
  • Knowledge of continuous improvement processes, such as LEAN.
  • Experience in project management, including project scoping and on-time on-budget delivery of project deliverables, and managing client relationships.
  • Knowledge of the scientific method and applied scientific research.
The Most Competitive Candidates May Also Have:
  • A Master's degree in a Physical or Natural Science, Environmental Engineering or other applicable technical field, or combination of Master’s degree in Public Administration or related field and experience working closely with scientists and engineers.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging scientific issues facing King County programs, such as stormwater and wastewater contamination, salmon recovery, fish habitat protection, and floodplain management.  
  • Proven ability to lead scientists and engineers.
  • A sense of humor.
Necessary Special Requirements: A valid Washington State Driver's License or the ability to travel throughout the County in a timely manner.

Supplemental Information

Application and Selection Process: Application materials will be screened for clarity, completeness including online application, cover letter and resume, and responsiveness to the list of qualifications, skills, and abilities. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in one or more panel interviews. Applications without the following required materials may not be considered for this position.

  • King County application
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter detailing your background and what you can bring to this position
  • Responses to the four supplemental questions
Union Membership: This position is not represented by a union.

For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:
Deena Prasad, Senior Human Resource Analyst
Phone: 206-263-0101

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play. 

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Are you applying to this position as a Priority Placement Program Participant And Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
Describe your experience leading staff in managing for environmental outcomes, such as clean water, habitat gain, salmon, and orca. (Limit word count to no more than 500 words)
Describe how you will lead, manage and build teams in a remote environment, including practices that build and sustain social capital. (Limit word count to no more than 500 words)

Required Question