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Education Debate 2012
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Education Debate 2012

Debaters > Phil Handy

Phil Handy

Phil handyHigher Education Co-Chair of Governor Romney’s Education Policy Advisory Group

F. Philip Handy serves as the Chief Executive Officer, since October, 2001, of Strategic Industries, a portfolio of companies in diversified service and manufacturing businesses.

Mr. Handy currently serves on the public Board of Directors of Anixter International, Inc., the world’s leading distributor of wire and cable and Owens Corning, a world leader in building materials systems and composite solutions.  He also sits on the private Board of Directors for WRS Infrastructure and Environment, Inc., a national environmental and remediation company.  Mr. Handy is the Chairman of the Board of Progressus Therapy a leading special education solutions provider of speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and physical therapy services.

Mr. Handy has been a member of the Florida Governor’s Council of 100 since 1987. He also has served as Chairman of the Florida State Board of Education, appointed by Governor Jeb Bush, which has constitutional responsibility for Florida’s public educational system (over 4 million students).  Mr. Handy also was appointed by Florida Governor Bob Graham to serve on the Investment Advisory Board for the State Board of Administration (the State’s pension fund manager), where he served as Chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee.

In the political and eleemosynary area, Mr. Handy is a director of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.  He also co-chairs Governor Mitt Romney’s Florida Presidential Campaign and serves as Co-chairman of Governor Romney’s National Policy Council on Education.  Mr. Handy was a member of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and currently serves as an Advisor to the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Director of Stand For Children. He served as the State Chairman of Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns in Florida in 1993-94 and 1997-98; and as co-chairman of Jeb Bush’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.  In 1991 and 1992, he was chairman of Limited Political Terms, a political committee, which led the most successful petition drive in Florida’s history, which resulted in a 77 percent affirmative vote. Mr. Handy has chaired ten statewide political races (won 6, lost 4). 

Previously, Mr. Handy served as Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette as CEO of Combanks, a multiple bank holding company based in Orlando, Florida.  He has owned, operated, and managed other businesses, including Maryland Club Foods, Equality Specialties, and Equity Group Corporate Investments, a private investment firm controlled by Sam Zell.  He has also served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of two public companies, Chart House Restaurant Group and Rewards Networks.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and graduated Cum Laude from Princeton University and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He received the Doctorate of Laws “h.c.” from Flagler College.  He also served six years in the U.S. Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1973.


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