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Job: Director of Policy and Advocacy, London, UK


Advertiser's description:

  • Gross Annual Salary: £60,945 full-time pro rata. This is a pay level 11 salary effective from 1 April 2024. This salary increases annually in April each year according to Sustain’s payscale and progression, subject to satisfactory performance. In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.
  • Hours: Full-time (35 hours / 5 days per week)
  • Location: Role is office-based in Cambridge Heath, London. Sustain offers working from home up to half of working hours, on request and subject to agreement after probation. Travel within London and across the UK will be required.
  • Position type: Permanent contract, subject to funding
  • Annual Leave: 31 days Annual Leave (comprises of 20 days Basic Annual Leave + FTE proportion of public holidays + office closures) rising annually by 2 days to a top limit of 36 days
  • Equal opportunities: Sustain is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive employer, including recruiting for diversity. Read more about our approach here.
  • Right to Work: Entitlement to work in the UK. Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits and cannot employ people living or working outside of the UK.
  • Other details: Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis.

About this role

Director of Policy and Advocacy is a senior leadership role within Sustain, working across a range of policy, project and campaign areas. We are seeking a strong leader, with management experience and a keen interest in promoting solutions to many of the biggest challenges currently facing us: climate change, restoration of nature, and achieving a healthy, fair, diverse and sustainable system for food and farming. Leadership includes senior oversight:

  • On ‘policy’, of the priorities, coherence and cross-fertilisation between our various projects and campaigns and the priorities identified by our alliance members, expert working parties and project/campaign leads.
  • On ‘advocacy’, of Sustain’s range of approaches to achieving change – e.g. campaigning, partnership working, standards-setting as well as soft influence, at national and local level.

The Sustain alliance – members and colleagues – represent a rich source of expertise and well-proven, viable solutions to many of the challenges that face us. These need to be supported and replicated at scale, with barriers to adoption removed. It is the job of the Sustain alliance to cultivate the movement, win the policies and other support for solutions, and accelerate the process of change.

As a Director, you will have a key role in supporting the development of new and fundable areas of work, as well as contributing to organisational strategy and decision-making for Sustain. You will also hold strong people leadership skills, as the role oversees key teams at Sustain with five direct reports, and will support the delivery of our organisational plan.

Tasks and responsibilities

The Director of Policy and Advocacy for Sustain will have a varied and stimulating workload, working closely with the Chief Executive and in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management, project and campaign leads, project partners, Sustain alliance members and associates, and strategic funders. The postholder will provide strategic leadership on a range of policy, campaign, influencing and communications matters relating to advocacy for healthy and sustainable food and farming. The work will include:

Policy, advocacy and campaign development

  • Creating an advocacy strategy for Sustain, working with colleagues and members, and building productive relationships with key audiences and partners, including an annual programme of activities and events.
  • Leading on publishing policy reports, evidence submissions, statements and press releases, and overseeing those generated by Sustain colleagues and/or wider alliance activities.
  • Overseeing key policy, advocacy and campaign themes, to ensure these are pursued effectively and prioritised within advocacy and campaign work, with line-management responsibilities in relation to relevant campaign coordinators and their teams.
  • Providing everyday advisory and/or skills-building support or other opportunities for colleagues to develop their policy, influencing and communications work.

Stakeholder relationships

  • Ensuring that members of the Sustain alliance are engaged in policy and advocacy and benefiting from the opportunities provided by their alliance membership.
  • Building trusted relationships with a range of alliance members, government departments, elected representatives, project and campaign partners, journalists, media outlets, funders and opinion formers; and cultivating opportunities to work together to achieve positive change, including potential partnership initiatives.

Leadership in organisation management

  • Working with the core team to ensure that this work is adequately resourced, and budgets are managed effectively, understanding and contributing to how this fits within Sustain’s overall financial management, resource use and fundraising needs.
  • Developing compelling and impactful activities, evidence-gathering, partnerships and funding bids and feeding into development of impact reporting and theories of change.
  • Leading on one or more operational priorities, working with the senior team and other key members of the staff team to ensure that tasks happen in a timely and effective way.
  • Maintaining excellent financial records, contact databases and mailing lists, in line with good governance, data protection and accountability.
  • Ensuring that monitoring, evaluation and learning is undertaken in relation to the campaigns and advocacy work, to help shape the way these develop, and to ensure that this informs reporting to funders and Sustain’s Council of Trustees, organisational learning and development of future activities.

Oversight on public communications

  • Overseeing public communications in service of advocacy goals, working with expert project and campaign coordinators at Sustain. This will include representing the Sustain alliance externally – for example, with journalists, in the media, at high-level political opportunities such as giving oral evidence to parliamentary enquiries, chairing or speaking at panel events, organising roundtables or conferences, pitching or reporting to funders, etc.
  • Overseeing the work of Sustain’s colleagues who lead on communications, social media, digital and design and parliament/public affairs to enable effective delivery of the policy and advocacy strategy.
  • Editorial oversight and senior sign-off for Sustain’s political, campaigning and public communications activity, ensuring consistency of tone and approach and cultivating helpful cross-fertilisation of ideas and joined-up policy responses across the range of Sustain activities. Also ensuring that communications and public affairs activities serve and respect the alliance’s strategy, agreed tone, opportunities to influence, political impartiality, legal boundaries and our charitable objectives.


More details about the role here.