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
Anita Nagpal Schwartz
Anita Nagpal Schwartz
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.
Jane Li joins the Sunrise Project from TakeRoot Justice, where she was a senior staff attorney and managed the organization’s launch into an independent organization. She has a decade of experience of working with community-based organizations to provide legal services to marginalized individuals and communities. She received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.S. from Georgetown University.
Jane lives in Brooklyn, New York. She enjoys eating her way through New York City’s diverse neighborhoods, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.
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.
Justin Guay is the Director for Global Climate Strategy. He has a decade of experience in nonprofit advocacy and foundation strategy development.
Prior to joining Sunrise he managed grant-making and strategy development for global coal campaigns at the ClimateWorks Foundation and Packard Foundation. At the Packard foundation he oversaw a $40 million grant making portfolio across all climate and energy priorities in India, China, the US, the EU and South East Asia. He also assisted in leading the Foundation’s Innovation in Climate Solutions strategy and energy focused Program Related Investments (PRIs).
He has also run the Sierra Club’s International Coal Campaign as the Associate Director for the International Climate Program. The program focused on global efforts to transition energy systems beyond coal to clean energy with a special focus on international finance. He worked for the Sierra Club since 2009, in roles involving lobbying, media relations, policy research and advocacy.
He has lived and worked in Mumbai, India where he supported local community groups advocating for clean energy solutions and partnered closely with distributed solar companies serving poor communities. Justin received a Master’s Degree in International Development from the University of Denver and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah.
Marijke van Liemt
Marijke van Liemt
Marijke van Liemt joins the Sunrise project as the Chief of Operations for Europe. She brings a broad range of international experience: she started her career at ABN AMRO Bank in the Netherlands, in corporate finance. After leaving ABN AMRO, she worked for 13 years internationally as a coach and trainer in intercultural communications & leadership. She lived and worked in Brazil, the USA, Austria and Egypt, before moving back to the Netherlands in 2016. She worked as manager operations at KidsRights, an NGO advocating children’s rights before joining NLinBusiness as Manager Operations and Partners in October 2017, where she was responsible for setting up the operations.
Marijke holds a MA in Economics (Groningen University), and a MA in Intercultural Competencies (Donua University Austria). She is a certified leadership and organizational systems coach.
Mark has over two decades of experience in advocacy, policy, fundraising and media for progressive causes and managing nimble and effective NGOs. Mark has been a CEO and board member, including a co-chair of the Sunrise Project. Most recently, Mark has been working with the Australian Council of Trade Unions supporting its members to ensure workers’ voices are heard in climate, energy and just transitions policy debates.
Mark was recently awarded a Churchill Fellowship to learn about how other communities are making the transition beyond fossil fuels in ways that look after the interests of workers and their communities.
Mark’s now leads the Sunrise Project’s Australia-wide strategy and supports the team of brilliant program directors.
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
Sam La Rocca
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.
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.
Vanessa Pierce has over a decade of experience building and leading teams, starting and scaling winning campaigns, management coaching, organisational development, and strategy development. She has a track record of bringing greater operational excellence to the groups she works with, listening and leading with empathy, and has a canny ability to connect with stakeholders from a diverse array of backgrounds. Most recently, Vanessa was a consultant and advisor to the Climate Breakthrough Project where she supported visionary climate leaders in developing and launching high-risk, high-impact climate mitigation strategies. As a consultant, Vanessa has worked with a variety of clients as a facilitator, coach, and strategic advisor.
Prior to her consulting work, Vanessa was the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Citizen Engagement Lab, she served as the Sierra Club’s Eastern Region Director for the Beyond Coal Campaign, and was the Executive Director of HEAL Utah, an NGO working on nuclear waste and energy policy issues. Vanessa is an alumna of Green Corps, the field school for environmental advocacy, and has a B.A. from Grinnell College.