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John Phillips

Class of 2018-2019

About John

(updated 2/2019) John Phillips began his professional life at seventeen by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served for four years on active duty as a musician, performing in thousands of ceremonies and public relations events as a flute player and conductor. To pursue education on a full-time basis, he transitioned to the Marine Reserve in 2014, serving as a training and deployment processing chief, a career counselor, and currently as a civil-military operations planner with III MEF Command Element in Okinawa, Japan, where he will be assigned until 2023. John earned his bachelor’s in Political Science from California State University, San Marcos in December 2015. A leader among the student veterans community, he served as Veteran Students Representative to Associated Students, Inc. and as Vice President of the Student Veterans Organization. During this time, he also studied abroad in Amman, Jordan to sharpen his Arabic language skills. For his master’s at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, John focused on public international law, gender analysis, and conflict resolution. Among several community engagement initiatives he led, he brought Israeli, Palestinian, and American students together to simulate negotiations of the peace process in an Israel-Palestine Working Group. He also interned in the Stability and Humanitarian Affairs office in the Pentagon. After graduation in December 2017, John worked as a teaching assistant and created his own political consulting firm with the objective of providing expert electoral campaign advice to under-resourced political campaigns in order to reduce barriers to access for potential candidates.  As a Luce Scholar , John has prioritized his Chinese language studies and academic engagement with international security issues in the East Asia, including international humanitarian cooperation, civil-military relations, and cyber conflict. At the Taiwan Center for Security Studies, John is a regular contributor in multilateral track II exchanges.

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