Lucie Phillips

IBI, ICGFM Immediate Past President

Dr. Lucie Phillips is the Owner and Chairman of IBI International. Her career in international development spans some 30 years. Dr. Phillips' early work reflected innovative foresight, contributing to what later became major trends. For example, in the 1970s, when the development community had not yet recognized that the problems it was facing were structural, she pointed it out on project after project. In the 1990s, when business persons' networks brought in only token women-owned firms, she helped West African businesswomen organize a network of their own. When artisanal mining boomed in the 1990s and observers bemoaned its effect on the poor workers, she listened to mine workers and everyone else throughout the value chain. When it eventually was documented that mine workers could earn six to ten times what they earned in agriculture, Dr. Phillips posed the question, "Would you give up the opportunity to multiply your income by ten?" She demonstrated that the maintenance of an extraordinary number of middle-income jobs justified developing policies and programs to meet new realities. Since then, she has worked on improving the regulations, conditions and impacts of mining, small and large, to preserve those jobs, reduce rural poverty, and multiply rural investments.

Dr. Phillips holds a Ph.D. in Economic History and African Studies from Columbia University in New York and a bachelor's degree from Smith College. Dr. Phillips is fluent in French, and has studied Wolof, Hausa, Arabic, Spanish, German, and Kiswahili.