Phil is Director of Programmes at International Alert, a peacebuilding organisation based in London. Before this he had worked in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding in Africa since 1985, working specifically in Sudan, Rwanda, Lesotho, Mali, Ghana, Benin, Togo and Uganda. Initially a forester by training, his interest in conflict and peacebuilding was stimulated by the experience of living in Rwanda from 1992 to 1994. From 2000 to 2004 he was country director of CARE Uganda, and played an active role in research and advocacy on the Northern Uganda conflict, helping to establish and lead the Civil Society Organisations for Peace in Northern Uganda coalition. He is also a member of the Forum on Corporate Responsibility of mining company BHP Billiton, and a trustee of UK-based development NGO Build Africa.
At present, he provides leadership and oversight of International Alert's programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caucasus, and of the Peacebuilding Issues Programme, which deals with cross-cutting issues of importance to peacebuilding, such as the economy, gender, and security, as well as Alert’s core learning and training functions. He also leads International Alert's advocacy on aid effectiveness.
Phil writes about Africa, peacebuilding and development issues on his personal blog.