Debra Phillips is the president and CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), founded in 1926 to represent the electrical and medical imaging industry. NEMA’s 350 members manufacture products used in the generation, transmission,
distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications and play a central role in electrification, digitalization, connectivity and the mitigation
of climate change.
In her prior role as senior vice president at the American Petroleum Institute, Ms. Phillips led a team of more than 120 engineering, safety and global policy professionals in Washington D.C., Houston, Beijing, Dubai, Singapore and Rio de Janeiro responsible
for standards-setting, certification, training, events, membership, publications and safety programs for onshore, offshore, pipeline and refinery operations. Ms. Phillips oversaw the oil and gas industry’s standards development and suite of
programs that not only enable the industry to manufacture, deliver and innovate high-performing products globally, but brought a record of more than $120MM in revenues to the association.
Prior to joining API, Phillips served on the leadership team at the American Chemistry Council for nearly two decades. Phillips managed the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® initiative—the global environmental, health, safety, and
security performance program operated in more than 60 countries worldwide. In recent years, she was the catalyst behind the chemical industry’s sustainability strategy, developed through her leadership of a CEO Taskforce established in 2016.
She also initiated ACC’s value chain outreach initiative in 2013, leading to strategic relationships with members of the chemicals value chain to advance science and sustainability-based decision-making surrounding chemical selection and use
in retail, building and construction and other consumer product applications.
Phillips previously worked as an environment, health, and safety professional in both the chemical and pulp and paper industries. She holds a master’s degree in environmental toxicology from Duke University and an undergraduate degree in biology
from Albright College.