As Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, Phil works with an extensive group of faculty, staff, and students to advanace operational sustainability for WashU and to foster the next generation of sustainability/climate leaders. Phil also leads and participates in a number of national and regional partnerships to accelerate climate action and sustainable practice, including serving as the program chair for the Midwest Climate Summit, serving on the University Climate Change Coalition Steering Committee, and co-chairing a St. Louis regional energy & emissions working group. In addition, Phil teaches an interdisciplinary community-engaged course on renewable energy and de-carbonizing the electric grid and regularly guest lectures on a range of topics.
Phil is a social entrepreneur who enjoys tackling challenging problems with interdisciplinary groups of collaborators. A 2003 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Phil worked as a climate change researcher at UC Davis before his passion for community development brought him back to St. Louis to develop a nonprofit focusing on community building, arts, and job skills training. Concurrently, he worked at Rise, a nonprofit developer working to revitalize communities, to create a neighborhood indicators database for assessing the impacts of community development investments. Prior to joining Washington University, Phil served as the Active Living Program at Trailnet, a nonprofit working to create walkable, bikeable, and livable communities. In that role, he collaborated with a number of organizations to develop a transdisciplinary approach to community development that sits at the crossroads of urban planning, public health, and public policy — the Healthy, Active & Vibrant Communities Initiative — which was replicated in seven communities in Missouri with support from the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Even as a WUSTL student studying biology and environmental studies, Phil worked with others students and administrators to advance sustainability at the university. He co-founded of The Wilderness Project pre-orientation program, Volunteers for Environmental Restoration, Development, and Education (VERDE), and the first Committee on Environmental Quality.
Phil spends his free time exploring the world with his toddler daughter and wife, Cheryl, and occasionally moonlights as a drummer.