Chief Executive Officer- The Sunrise Project

Chief Executive Officer - The Sunrise Project

Full Time

About The Sunrise Project  

Driven by a passion to solve the climate crisis, The Sunrise Project (TSP) is a dynamic team of experienced changemakers on a mission to scale social movements to drive the global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Founded in Australia in 2012, TSP activates and operates a unique model of grant-making and campaigning to achieve large-scale, global impact. Today, Sunrise is a global network of three independent organisations that share a common mission and values and drive aligned strategies. 

With over 150 people across 20 countries and a grantmaking portfolio that funds over AUD $80 million per year to a network of over 250 organisations, this passionate team of change-makers is having a globally significant impact on the defining issue of our time. 

To drive impact, The Sunrise Project essentially does six things:

  1. Analyse political, social, and economic systems driving the climate crisis;
  2. Develop strategies for multi-partner efforts to create systemic change;
  3. Partner with philanthropy to resource these strategies;
  4. Fund diverse networks of organisations and support them to drive collective impact;
  5. Support organisations and movements to sharpen their strategies and build their capacity to achieve real-world outcomes; and
  6. Drive strategic interventions that will hasten the transition beyond fossil fuels.

With a geographically distributed team of 74 people across Australia, The Sunrise Project Australia (TSPA) is one of the largest funders and climate impact makers within the region. Making ~$40m in grants in line with their program strategies, TSPA funds the most climate progressive Australian universities, think tanks, activist organisations, and grassroots groups and supports them to work together for large-scale impact. 
The Australian CEO Opportunity

The Australian Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a new role that will report to the TSPA Board and work with the Global Network Coordination Team to drive the critical mission of transforming Australia from laggard to leader in climate change and amplify aligned initiatives worldwide.

Leveraging visionary leadership and exceptional collaboration skills, this role will support and enable the Australian team to drive ambitious climate strategies and energy transition initiatives at a pace and scale that matches the urgency of the climate crisis.

As the Australian CEO, you will play a pivotal role in engaging community, business, and philanthropy partners to advance the mission of The Sunrise Project Australia. You will work closely with the global Sunrise network to drive worldwide impact, ensuring our collective efforts are aligned and effective.

As a skilled and collaborative organisational leader, you will cultivate a high-impact, creative, and inclusive culture within the organisation, encouraging innovation and collaboration to maximise the impact of our climate strategies.

Key to your success will be delivering on the following accountabilities:

  • Strategic Leadership: Ensuring TSPA is continually developing and driving high impact strategies aligned with our mission and values.
  • Championing Culture: Nurturing vibrant, innovative, inclusive, and life-affirming culture that supports everyone in the team to thrive and unleash their collective power to drive impact in line with Sunrise mission and values.
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Ensuring TSPA lives by its values and deep commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Organisational Management: Leading and managing a team of 70 + people to align and drive impact greater than the sum of their parts.
  • Partnership & Philanthropy: Representing TSPA and fostering relationships with climate movement organisations, the community, Government, business and philanthropic partners.
  • Global Network Collaboration: Playing an active leadership role in the Sunrise Global Coordination Team to drive the overall impact of the global Sunrise network.
  • Governance & Board Relations: Developing an effective partnership with the TSPA Board and its committees to support good governance and maximise impact aligned to mission.
  • Organisational Management: Working closely with the global COO to oversee strategic planning, financial management, process optimisation and continuous improvement to maximise effective use of funds towards our mission.
  • Risk management & Compliance: Ensuring political, legal and compliance risks associated with the Australia Programs are managed. 

About You

You are an experienced and collaborative executive leader who knows what it takes to create a vibrant and inclusive culture that unleashes the power of the collective to change the world.

As an experienced and purpose driven leader, you have a deep understanding of the political landscape in Australia, how power operates, and the different roles that diverse actors in social movements can play to drive transformation at pace and scale.

You are a natural collaborator and influencer who builds trusted relationships across diverse stakeholders to drive outcomes. You have a high risk appetite, are willing to push boundaries to turn ideas into real world change, and have a knack for articulating strategies into simple and compelling ways that engage others on the journey.

A people-centric and servant leader, you know what it takes to unleash the power of teams and nurture high impact, creative, joyful and inclusive organisational culture. This combination of strategic and collaborative leadership coupled with an astute organisational management capability has enabled you to build a track record of leading high performing teams and organisations that drive real world impact. 

The Benefits

This is a rare opportunity to be a bold leader and deliver positive climate action at the pace needed to preserve an environment that will nurture our generations to come.

Working as part of a global network, you will enjoy collaborating with and learning from innovative thought leaders around the world and build lasting relationships with leading social movements and philanthropic leaders. Alongside an attractive salary package, you will enjoy remote and hybrid working flexibility, autonomy to manage your life/work balance, annual retreats, occasional international travel, and above statutory superannuation entitlements.

The Sunrise network believes diversity of experiences and perspectives drive stronger strategies, teams, and movements so you will also enjoy, and actively contribute to, an inclusive and connected culture. We encourage all people with the relevant experience to apply for this exciting position, including international candidates with Australian work rights willing to relocate and candidates interested in co-leadership and job-sharing.

Keen to make a difference? Apply now, follow the links for more information, or contact Ainsley Johnstone at Think Talent on 0408 391 648 for a confidential discussion.

The Sunrise Project - Our Story So Far:

ChangeMakers Podcast:


Need more information?

Phone us on 03 8393 9382 or register your details and we will be in touch.

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