A functional model complex of nickel superoxide dismutase (NiSOD) with a non-peptide ligand which mimics the full catalytic cycle of NiSOD is unknown. Similarly, it has not been fully elucidated whether NiSOD activity is a result of an outer- or inner-sphere electron-transfer mechanism. With this in mind, two octahedral nickel(II)/(III) complexes of a bis-tridentate N2 S donor carboxamide ligand, N-2-phenylthiophenyl-2'-pyridinecarboxamide (HL(Ph)), have been synthesized, structurally characterized, and their SOD activities examined. These complexes mimic the full catalytic cycle of NiSOD. Electrochemical experiments support an outer-sphere electron-transfer mechanism for their SOD activity.