Founder, Starling Strategy
Macon Phillips founded Starling Strategy in 2019. Starling supports some of the most influential organizations in the world to develop and execute digital strategies, including to build and sustain diverse coalitions, to change laws, and to drive positive change.
President Barack Obama appointed Macon to lead his White House’s digital strategy after he played a central role in the 2008 presidential campaign’s pioneering use of new media and technology to mobilize supporters. Phillips’ team spent five years providing the strategic and technological capacity for the President to engage emerging communities of influence, communicate complex ideas, and promote a culture of digital innovation throughout the federal government.
Phillips joined Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. State Department for the last three years of Obama’s Administration, developing public engagement strategies to support foreign policy priorities in over forty countries. In this role, Phillips created a new model of public diplomacy by uniting communities of emerging influence with initiatives like the YALI Network, which connects 500,000 young leaders across Africa.
In two years as CARE USA’s Chief Digital Officer, Macon supported digital impact innovations such as digitizing health systems in India and building apps to digitize micro-lending in Tanzania. Phillips created a foundation of digital infrastructure across more than 30 countries, including sector-leading cybersecurity capacity. He also supported new models of supporter participation, including the successful implementation of an enterprise CRM.
Macon grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, graduated from Duke University and now lives with his wife and three wonderful children in Washington, D.C.