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About Dr. Vicki Phillips


As executive vice president and chief education officer at the National Geographic Society, Vicki Phillips oversees the Society's education strategy and programs focused on transforming the classroom experience for millions of students and educators to inspire the next generation of planetary stewards.

Phillips's career in education spans more than three decades, driven by a fierce determination to help all students realize their dreams. She has tirelessly championed students' rights to a high-quality education through her many leadership roles, including as a teacher, state-level policy maker, nonprofit leader, superintendent of schools, chief state school officer, and K–12 education director.

Prior to joining the National Geographic Society, Phillips served as an education strategist in the United States and internationally; as CEO in residence for Educurious; and, for nearly a decade, as the director of education, College Ready, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Phillips holds an Ed.D. in international leadership and management from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, and an M.A. in school psychology and B.S. in elementary education and special education, K–8, K–12, from Western Kentucky University.

About Jeffrey Sachs


Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has authored numerous bestseller books. His most recent book is Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020). Sachs was twice named as Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders, and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists.

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