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Phil Martin
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Phil Martin

Director, Higher Education Policy Implementation

Phil Martin is director of higher education policy implementation at The Education Trust. His focus is helping federal and state policy officials clear barriers and strengthen supports on the path to education beyond high school in the U.S. Previously, Phil led higher ed communications – speechwriting, media relations, and message strategy – for Ed Trust.

Phil brings more than 15 years of experience in government, politics, education, and advocacy. He served as a two-term Obama Administration official at the U.S. Department of Education, led the education technology marketplace initiative for Digital Promise, advised students and created programs at Princeton University’s Pace Center for civic engagement, managed field operations for the ‘08 Obama Campaign in east Akron, Ohio, coordinated education and arts outreach for the national United We Serve initiative, coached clergy and lay leaders for interfaith community organizing work with IAF, and was a substitute high school teacher.

As a consultant, Phil conducted market research, produced digital content, and advised senior leaders at Campus Compact, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and iCivics.

Phil served two terms of national service in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in the western region. He holds a BA in Economics with a psychology minor from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and a Global MBA in Entrepreneurship from EDHEC Business School in Nice, France.

Phil lives in the Brightwood neighborhood of Washington, DC, with his spouse, Pooja Mehta.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

Right now, trying to learn basic cooking techniques from Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat.

What drew you to education?

When I was younger, I wanted to teach high school social studies. I thought I could help students choose to make the world a better place for one another and for future generations by creating space for them to wrestle with ideas from history, economics, philosophy, and so on. My career took a different direction. A more recent motivation for working in education – and specifically education policy – is my anger about persistent economic inequality by “race” and family background, which is partly attributable to differences in education.

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