Washington, DC – The Center for Climate and Security applauds the choice of Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, United States Navy (retired) to lead Virginia’s climate resilience efforts. Admiral Phillips will serve in a cabinet-level position as Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection. Admiral Phillips is a distinguished member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board, and has been a leading voice on the risks climate change poses to both military and civilian communities, particularly along the southeastern coast. Before joining the Center, she served for 31 years in the U.S. Navy, including as Commander of Destroyer Squadron TWO EIGHT and Expeditionary Strike Group TWO, as Senior Fellow on the Chief of Naval Operation’s Strategic Studies Group XXVIII, as Deputy Director and Director of the Surface Warfare Division, and as Co-Chair of the Surface Force Working Group in the Navy’s Climate Change Task Force and Energy Task Force.
In response to the announcement, senior national security and defense leaders from the Center for Climate and Security applauded the appointment. See their statements below.
“Ann Phillips is a great choice to fill this important Virginia leadership position. She understands the tremendous challenges facing our mid-Atlantic coastal regions due to the effects of climate change and rising sea levels, and she is extremely well equipped to develop and implement long term solutions.”
– Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, US Navy (Ret), Advisory Board, the Center for Climate and Security, former Commander of U.S. Pacific Command
“I can’t think of a better pick than Rear Admiral (ret) Ann Phillips to be the first Virginia Cabinet member charged with leading efforts on coastal adaptation and protection. She has already been in the forefront of similar efforts in Hampton Roads and has been key in bringing focus and cooperation to the issue. I know her as a Center for Climate and Security colleague and a thoughtful expert and I am sure her pragmatic leadership and experience at the State House will now bear fruit for all of us in Virginia.”
– General Ronald Keys, USAF (Ret), Advisory Board, the Center for Climate and Security, former Commander, Air Combat Command
“Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, USN (ret), is the right leader for the mission of advancing coastal adaptation and resilience for Virginia. Her military experience combined with her personal commitment to the Norfolk/Hampton Roads region, make her the perfect person to assist the Governor in making Virginia a national leader in coastal adaptation and resilience and forging essential partnerships among the military, civilian community and public and private sector partners and entrepreneurs.”
– Sherri Goodman, Senior Advisor for International Security and Advisory Board Member, the Center for Climate & Security, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security)
“I am most pleased that the Governor of Virginia has chosen Rear Admiral (RADM) Ann Phillips to join his cabinet and to bring her expertise to the challenge of dealing with coastal issues. RADM Phillips knows the science, knows how people think, and knows how to bring them together to get things done. As a member of Maryland Coast Smart Council, I look forward to working with her as she brings her unique perspective to solving the problems ahead.”
– Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, US Army (Ret), Member of the Military Expert Panel, the Center for Climate and Security, former Dean of the academic board, United States Military Academy at West Point
“The Governor has made an inspired choice. Admiral Phillips’ experience with both the military’s efforts on climate adaptation and the coastal resilience of the Hampton Roads region makes her the perfect choice to lead Virginia’s resilience efforts.”
– John Conger, Director, The Center for Climate and Security, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment
“Rear Admiral (ret) Ann Phillips is, frankly, the best person for this job. As an invaluable member of our Advisory Board, she’s demonstrated time and again that her experience and expertise regarding climate risks in Virginia to military missions and the civilian communities that support that mission is exceptional. The people of Virginia couldn’t ask for a stronger advocate for the protection of land, infrastructure and livelihoods threatened by rising seas.”
– Francesco “Frank” Femia and Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founders, The Center for Climate and Security
- Contact: Francesco “Frank” Femia, ffemia at climateandsecurity dot org
- Read Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, USN (Ret) full biography here.