Sullivan started his career as a photographer for a local newspaper in the U.K. He went on to freelance as a news photographer in Fleet St. covering events and conflicts around the globe from Afghanistan to Northern Ireland.
He joined The Sunday Times of London as deputy picture editor; soon becoming the youngest picture editor in Fleet Street where he spent seven years and subsequently joined the Sunday Times Magazine as Director of Photography and Assistant Editor responsible for all photography at the magazine for eight years.
Director and Founder of The Ian Parry Scholarship 1989- Created the Scholarship following the death of Ian Parry, a photographer and close friend who died during the Romanian Revolution whilst on assignment for The Sunday Times Newspaper. The scholarship is a registered charity and offers a bursary for aspiring young photojournalists. Now in its 19th year, it has helped many of the finest young photographers currently working in the profession. It is widely recognised as one of the most important awards available for aspiring photojournalists. In 2004, he produced a book EYES WIDE OPEN, a collection of work from twelve of the winners of the award.
Awards include International Picture Editor of the Year Visa Pour L’image 2000 and Honorary Fellowship to the Royal Photographic Society 2004.
In 2005 he moved to New York and became Vice President of Photo Assignment for Getty Images, managing editorial and commercial assignments and in 2009 created the new Reportage division which attracted a number of internationally renowned award-winning photojournalists and is now considered one of the leading sources of documentary photography.