From 2012 to 2013, Phillips was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, affiliated with the Africa-Leadership and Institutional Capacity Building program. Before that, she was director of the Program for Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany. She was a professor of international relations and comparative politics from 1986 until 2000, first at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and then at American University in Washington. She also worked in the Policy Bureau of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Phillips has a Ph.D. in international relations and political economy from Georgetown University and a master's degree in international affairs from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
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