Former diplomat, United States Information Agency; Madrid, Florence, Bamako, Antananarivo, Lubumbashi, Teheran, Buenos Aires; Hotchkiss Board of Trustees (1997-2012)
After graduating from Yale, Philip Pillsbury lived abroad for a year while earning a certificate from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris of the University of Paris. But in his time abroad, he observed an emerging antiAmericanism. This bothered him. He wished that these critics knew the facts about America. While studying for a Master’s degree at George Washington University, he heard about an opportunity to take the U.S. Foreign Service exam. He took the exam and began working in 1959 for the United States Information Agency (USIA). He chose to work in cultural affairs, focusing on the American libraries, English teaching, exchanges of students and scholars, and presentation of lecturers abroad. After six years, he returned to the U.S. with the plan to work in international business, probably for the Pillsbury Company, founded by his great-grandfather. From 1967-1970 he directed the opportunity employment program for the Minneapolis Urban League. That experience with the Urban League has informed all of his adult life.
When Phil and Nina Pillsbury returned home in the mid-1980s and settled in Washington, they joined the close-knit diplomatic community in D.C. They also very quickly became involved with Hotchkiss, as their daughter Caroline, a member of the Class of 1989, enrolled, followed by their son Philip, Class of 1991. In 1991 former Headmaster Robert Oden asked Phil and his cousin Gay Lord, a long-serving Trustee of the Board and wife of Charlie Lord ’52, to serve as co-directors of the Celebration of the Hotchkiss Centennial. Over many years Phil has assisted the Admission Office in speaking with prospective students from the D.C. area, and Phil and Nina have hosted Hotchkiss receptions at their home. In 1997, Phil joined the Board of Trustees.more » « less