People

Our people are our most valuable asset and we’re passionate about nurturing an organisational culture that supports great people to do great work. Our diverse and growing team of passionate changemakers are distributed around the world and work with a wide network of partner NGOs to deliver world changing strategies. If you’re interested in joining our team, please keep an eye on our jobs page for future opportunities.

The Sunrise Project consists of three independent entities. To view the team of each please head here:

Global Coordination team

The Sunrise Project is a network of independent legal entities that work together towards a shared mission. The Global Coordination team coordinates global strategy for the network and consists of representatives from each Sunrise entity.

Global Coordination team members

Nichola Gardner COO portrait

Nichola Gardner

Global COO
Sunrise Australia
Read Nichola 's bio
Nichola Gardner COO portrait

Nichola Gardner

Global COO
Sunrise Australia

Nichola has 18 years of experience across large multi-national, start up and state government organisations focusing on budgeting and forecasting, controls and compliance and financial operations. With extensive experience in systems and process refinement across corporate services, and an interest in data, technology and automation, Nichola is committed to supporting the operations team in enabling The Sunrise Project to focus on what matters most.
A qualified CPA with a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Sydney, Nichola also holds a bachelor degree in Physics from the University of Manchester.

Sam La Rocca

Co-Executive Director
Sunrise Australia
Read Sam's bio

Sam La Rocca

Co-Executive Director
Sunrise Australia

Sam is the Co-Director of the Sunrise Project Australia. He brings over twenty-five years experience building people powered movements for a socially just and ecologically sane world. Sam holds a multidisciplinary degree in environmental science, and while completing his first class honours thesis on grassroots mobilisation, he co-founded activist education outfit The Change Agency to deliver social movement education, campaign strategy and organising training programs to community groups around Australia and internationally. He’s worked as a senior political advisor in federal parliament and led highly successful electoral campaigns. He has facilitated movement-wide processes for the Climate Action Network Australia and Friends of the Earth International’s Asia Pacific Region; and he has a strong interest in building powerful networks to catalyse system change.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and work and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Reecha Upadhyay

Director, Corporate Clean Energy Program
Sunrise Inc.
Read Reecha Upadhyay's bio

Reecha Upadhyay

Director, Corporate Clean Energy Program
Sunrise Inc.

Reecha has built and led campaigns on air quality, climate, gender equality, peace and security, and labour rights. Prior to Sunrise, she was the Director of International Campaigns at Climate Catalyst where she designed and delivered steel decarbonisation efforts in India, Japan and South Korea. Reecha also served as the Head of India Program and Global Campaigns at the Clean Air Fund and the Director of Campaigns at Purpose Climate Lab in India. Reecha has spent the last two decades working on social justice issues in Canada, US, South Sudan, India and Nepal. She was a co-founder in a media collective called Jamun in New Delhi which created social impact and commercial content.

Anita Nagpal Schwartz

Managing Director of Development
Sunrise Inc.
Read Anita's bio

Anita Nagpal Schwartz

Managing Director of Development
Sunrise Inc.

Anita Nagpal Schwartz is The Sunrise Project’s Managing Director of Development. She has three decades of experience in fundraising, marketing, and communications for nonprofit organizations. Anita was previously the Development Director for The Nature Conservancy’s India Program, guiding startup philanthropic efforts. Anita also worked as the Vice President of Development, Marketing, and Program Administration for Western Resource Advocates for twelve years. At Environmental Defense Fund, she managed fundraising efforts in a seven-state region.

Anita started her non-profit career at Conservation International in Washington, D.C., in 1990. She holds a bachelor’s degree from American University, Washington, D.C., with a double major in literature and American studies. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, having secured an internationally-recognized professional credential. She also completed a Certificate Program in Authentic Leadership at Naropa University, Colorado.

Anita is an avid reader, enthusiastic world traveler, and collage artist. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and pup.

John Hepburn

Co-Executive Director
Sunrise Australia
Read John's bio

John Hepburn

Co-Executive Director
Sunrise Australia

John is an activist and social entrepreneur with over twenty-five years experience running environmental campaigns. In 2017 he was an inaugural recipient of the Climate Breakthrough Award which was the catalyst for Sunrise scale its work globally. Prior to founding The Sunrise Project in 2012, John spent a decade leading campaigns with Greenpeace and previously worked on a wide variety of environmental campaigns at a grassroots level. He is the founder of several non-profit recycling businesses which led to him being awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2002. John holds degrees in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Business Management and before becoming an activist, worked for several years as an engineer making components for the oil, gas and coal industries.

Shannon Lawrence

Director, Global Finance Program
Sunrise Inc.
Read Shannon's bio

Shannon Lawrence

Director, Global Finance Program
Sunrise Inc.

Shannon has more than 20 years of experience addressing climate change and campaigning for environmental justice, living and working in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Previously, Shannon was a Managing Director at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, where she led strategy development, program design and funder engagement for major urban climate action programs.

Prior to joining C40, Shannon spent over a decade campaigning on finance, energy and water issues with global NGO networks and community groups in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Shannon has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with concentrations in international environmental policy and development economics. She has a BA from Georgetown University. She lives with her family in London.

The Sunrise Project

Driven by the imperative of climate justice, The Sunrise Project scales social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.

CONTACT

For all job, recruitment and volunteering enquiries: [email protected]

For all other enquiries: [email protected]

Annual Reports

Jobs

We respectfully acknowledge the Indigenous peoples and local communities of the lands on which we live and work.  We recognise the leadership of these communities in the struggle for climate justice and our responsibility to uplift their voices and histories.