The Scot was sacked last week after a disappointing start to the League One campaign.
Parkinson arrives with vast experience in the third tier of English football and has three promotion-winning seasons on his CV.
Here, we take a look at which games the 51-year-old Chorley-born boss will need to win if he is to be successful at Sunderland this season.
Scroll down and click through the pages to view the 10 games Parkinson MUST win.
1. Wycombe Wanderers - (H) - 19/10/2019
Phil Parkinson's first assignment is a big one. Gareth Ainsworth's side are flying high in the league, Sunderland need to beat the Chairboys if they are to re-enter the mix for promotion. Jack Ross managed two uninspiring 1-1 draws against Wanderers when in charge of the Black Cats last campaign.
Photo: Harriet Lander
2. Coventry City - (H) - 16/11/2019
There's always a bit of needle between the two sides and Sunderland famously lost this tie 5-4 last season, Parkinson will be hoping to better that result and win the fans over.
Photo: Linnea Rheborg
3. Blackpool - (H) - 26/12/2019
The start of a busy Christmas period sees promotion contenders Blackpool visit the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day. Although the Tangerines have struggled under former Cats boss Simon Grayson, they'll be looking to cause an upset and steal three points.
Photo: Clive Mason
4. Doncaster Rovers - (A) - 29/12/2019
Darren Moore's side presents a considerable challenge, a positive result away from home against a potential promotion rival could prove key in building momentum of Parkinson.
Photo: George Wood