Program Director @ The Sunrise Project

Program Director


About us

Driven by a passion to solve the climate crisis, The Sunrise Project U.S. is a team of experienced change-makers, researchers and communications professionals with a mission to scale social movements to drive the global transition beyond fossil fuels. With affiliated programs and staff in Australia and Europe, we have developed a unique model of grant making and campaigning that supports networks of organizations to drive powerful change towards our mission.

We have a dynamic and nimble organizational culture and we’re serious about supporting our people to thrive. We move fast and lean into the urgency of the climate challenge.

We believe that a diversity of experiences and perspectives will help us build stronger strategies, teams and movements. We strongly encourage First Nations people, people of color, people living outside of cities, and people with disability and talents to apply. We are continually working on becoming a better workplace for everyone.

About you

You’re a creative, big picture thinker with a hunger to solve the climate crisis and a track record of leading effective campaigns that win real world outcomes. You have a knack for understanding complex systems and figuring out the leverage points that can catalyse change. You have a deep understanding of how power operates in society and how social movements work, with practical experience of using both inside engagement and outside pressure to shift corporate behavior.

You’re a team player, great facilitator and a skilled collaborator, and are able to work effectively with people from all walks of life – from grassroots activists through to senior business leaders. You don’t need to be an expert in auto manufacturers or transportation, but you’ve got the ability to rapidly master complex technical and policy details and political dynamics. Most importantly you are a caring and generous leader that people can believe in and trust. You’re an open communicator and a good listener, with the skills to give and receive difficult feedback when it is required, and to support teams to thrive.

About the role

The transport sector is the largest user of oil globally and is a growing source of greenhouse pollution. Car manufacturers have a critical role to play in hastening the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) as well as greening global supply chains for steel. The auto majors are moving but nowhere near fast enough, and are still lobbying against climate action.

The Program Director, Global Auto Corporate Campaigns is a new senior role responsible for managing the inception, design and delivery of a global strategy to hasten the shift of automotive manufacturers away from fossil fuels. This will be the first role in our team focused on auto manufacturers and will lead the development of our auto program from the ground up.

Our unique model of changemaking involves supporting diverse networks of organisations to work together to drive large scale change. Your role as Program Director is to lead the collaborative development of strategy, and to build campaigning and grantmaking strategies to support a global network of civil society organizations to achieve real world change.

We support networks of organizations to work together to achieve outcomes that would not be possible by individual organizations acting alone. We expect all roles at Sunrise to actively support the capacity building of these networks and partner organizations.

Key responsibilities

  • Design and implement effective strategies to shift the world’s leading automotive manufacturers and their supply chains beyond fossil fuels;

  • Through a combination of grantmaking, convening, and collaboration, nurture an ecosystem of organizations that are working together to shift major auto manufacturers beyond fossil fuels;

  • Manage budgets and grantmaking to execute the strategy;

  • Evaluate impact and share learnings openly within the organization, with network partners and with donors;

  • Recruit and support additional campaign staff as required and actively nurture a creative, dynamic and supportive culture within your team

  • Proactively contribute to the culture of the wider organization, including leadership on our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;

  • Work collaboratively with other parts of the Sunrise team to identify and support opportunities for synergy across program areas to ensure we have the biggest collective impact possible;

  • Build and maintain high level relationships with civil society and business leaders and represent the organization in public fora as required;

Required skills and experience

  • At least seven years experience in a similar or related role including unpaid, grassroots or lived experience;

  • A passion for action on climate change and a commitment to social justice

  • A sophisticated understanding of corporate power in relation to climate change action (and inaction);

  • Excellent people management skills and a track record of leading high performing teams;

  • A collaborative mindset and a proven ability to work effectively in alliance with diverse stakeholders;

  • Excellent interpersonal communication and group facilitation skills;

  • The ability to develop and clearly articulate effective strategies to drive change in complex systems.

If you meet some but not all of the criteria for this position, are unsure, but you’re keen on the role - please get in touch. We value and recognize experience that has been unpaid, from the grassroots or is lived experience.

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • An understanding of the key trends and market dynamics impacting global auto manufacturing including strategic levers for change, and how financial pressure could be brought to bear would be beneficial but is not a requirement of the role.

How Sunrise supports its staff:

The Sunrise Project U.S. is committed to creating a workplace that supports our staff to do their best work and develop professionally. We have the following in place to help us achieve that:

  • 401(k) & employer match

  • 100% employer paid health, vision and dental coverage

  • Four weeks of vacation leave

  • Birthday leave (if it’s your birthday, you get a day off)

  • Cultural & solidarity leave

  • 12 weeks parental leave after 12 months of service

  • Commitment to supporting to your professional development

  • Access to an Employee Assistance Program

  • Coaching and management support with regular 1:1 meetings

  • Performance reviews and feedback to support you and the team to reflect and grow

  • A co-developed initial 3 month work plan to help you hit the ground running and have clarity on your role and responsibilities

  • Flexible work policy

How to apply for this job

In our commitment to inclusive hiring of the best candidates, we use the Be Applied hiring system to process applications. The application window will close on December 22, 11:59 PM, PST.

The Be Applied system reduces the opportunity for unconscious bias in allowing for anonymised reviews of responses to work sample questions. This means we assess candidates on how well they strategise and communicate on relevant work samples. When you click on the link you will be taken to an external site to start your application. You will be required to upload a CV or resume and will be asked to respond to a few questions with long form answers. We will not be asking you to submit a cover letter.

Statement from our US Fiscal Sponsor Windward Fund

Sunrise US is a project of Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. Windward Fund is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Windward Fund ‘s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

Mid-level, Senior-level

Nonprofit- NGO

$115,000 - $125,000


Remote (US, open to other countries)




2021-10-29 00:00