Executive Director of External Affairs

Up to £95,000 per annum

Since 1977, Sustrans has been committed to making it easier to walk, wheel and cycle throughout the UK. Over this time, we have been working with and for communities to create healthier and happier lives for everyone. We have focussed on people with different and seldom-heard voices to develop solutions that work for all. Across the UK we involve communities in shaping our towns and cities. Together we campaign for and create spaces where everyone can move around safely and give people the tools and confidence to get out of their cars. We inspire people to change the way we all travel every day, forging closer connections with our neighbours and reducing traffic to create a better environment and more sustainable society for everyone. We are the stewards and custodians of the National Cycle Network: over 12,000 miles of signed paths and routes for exploring outdoors. The National Cycle Network provides a vital backbone to the country, connecting communities to each other and helping neighbourhoods come to life.


We are now seeking an Executive Director of External Affairs with experience gained in complex and dynamic organisations to join our senior leadership team at this incredibly pivotal time. In the face of ever-changing political and societal apathy and enthusiasm towards the environment, as campaigners for fair funding in active travel, we have inspiring stories to tell about the positive impact sustainable travel has on people’s health and wellbeing. As we renew our focus on actively engaging with our employees, supporters, partners and volunteers, you will be responsible for playing an integral role in our new strategy development and delivery, including the strategic development for our brand. 

We need an experienced strategic communications leader with high emotional intelligence and an inclusive approach who is both comfortable working with a skilled and experienced executive team and can lead an external affairs team that includes internal communications, brand, media, policy and public affairs. Externally focused, you will be well connected with your finger on the pulse, adept at influencing senior players in the UK and national governments and working closely with key stakeholders, with the ability to operate effectively at both national and regional levels. 

If you join us, you will get to work in a friendly, energised, collegiate and high trust environment with a diverse group of talented, creative and dedicated colleagues across the UK. We are open on your sector background and where you live. As long as you can access the railway network, and with our dynamic approach to hybrid working, you can be based anywhere in the UK for this role.


Download the candidate brief to find out about the role.