Phil Kirk is a longtime leader in education and business in North Carolina. He is Chairman Emeritus of the State Board of Education and President/CEO Emeritus of the North Carolina Chamber. Currently he serves as Director of Business and Leadership Development, a comprehensive building solutions provider for efficient energy management of commercial, institutional and industrial facilities across central and eastern North Carolina. Among his current volunteer activities are service on the boards at UNC TV, North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching Foundation, VIF-International Education, LearningStation, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce education committee, and Public School Forum of North Carolina, which he led in 2008-10.
Kirk has served as Chief of Staff for Governors Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin and United States Senator Jim Broyhill. He served twice as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1970, he became the youngest State Senator in North Carolina history at that time. He chaired the two largest bond campaigns in North Carolina history and they provided more than $6 billion for the UNC system, K-12 schools, community colleges, and highways. A graduate of Catawba College, he served as a trustee for more than 25 years before becoming Vice President for External Relations. He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Catawba. In addition to being inducted into the education hall of fame at East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he has been made an honorary alumnus of East Carolina University.