We are thrilled for you to meet our new Director of Field Operations in Uganda!
Because of your generous support, Seed Effect continues to grow! We’ve got an ambitious plan to empower over 100,000 South Sudanese refugee and Ugandan families, impacting over 500,000 children over the next five years, and we must ensure our team remains fully equipped to reach this goal.
That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve recently hired Jeremy Phillips as Director of Field Operations! Jeremy serves on the Seed Effect USA team, but lives in Kampala, Uganda with his family.
While his official title is Director of Field Operations, unofficially, we refer to him as the “Chief Road-Block Remover.” Jeremy serves as the “bridge” between our two teams, working hard to ensure the Seed Effect Uganda team is equipped with everything they need to continue this life-changing work of bringing Christ-centered economic empowerment to the hard places.
Learn more about Jeremy Phillips in the Q&A below!
In your opinion, what was it about Seed Effect that was different than other non-profits?
I don’t know of another organization serving such a vulnerable population with such an impactful model. The economic impact is incredible but it is much more than that. In Seed Effect savings groups, members find community, support, love, stability, reconciliation, spiritual growth, restored hope, and so much more.
What are you most looking forward to with Seed Effect this year?
I’m looking forward to seeing Seed Effect grow and evolve. It’s clear that the model works. Now the challenge is how to get it to more people. There is so much possibility. I look forward to seeing how we can innovate, grow, and ultimately, impact more peoples’ lives.
How do you get your news in the morning?
Living in Uganda, I get my news online – it’s really the only option. When I get a chance, I still love to sit down and read a newspaper or magazine from front to back, but that is a rare occurrence these days.
Tell us one thing your co-workers should know about you?
I’m bit if a jack of all trades. I’ve played a lot of different roles over the course of my career and I like the variety of working across the many different functions of a nonprofit organization – program, operations, fundraising, leadership, etc. – so I like working in roles with smaller organizations where I can wear multiple hats.
If your wife was to answer #5 – what would she say?
I think my wife, Jamie, would say that I am a unique mix of creative and logical. I’m a bit of a dreamer but also very practical.
What was your previous job and what made you decide to join Seed Effect?
My previous role was as the Chief Operating Officer for Elevate USA, an urban youth mentoring organization, where I helped to launch the organization and then replicate the model in cities across the U.S. My experience with Elevate was perfect preparation for my role with Seed Effect since I’m joining Seed Effect at a time of rapid expansion.
I became close friends with Missy and David Williams when I was living in Dallas (from 2007-2010) helping start an organization working with youth in Uganda.
During that time, I had a front row seat as Seed Effect got started, so I’ve been a fan of the organization from the beginning. My recent move back to Uganda perfectly coincided with the need for a Seed Effect USA staff person based in Uganda. It felt quite providential.
What has been the hardest thing about making the shift to this role from your previous organization?
The hardest thing for me has been working remotely. I enjoy the energy of being around people and Seed Effect has great people! I also have to function in two different time zones. I operate on the normal work day with the staff in Uganda and then, when our work day is ending, the U.S. staff are waking up and getting their day started.
What makes your heart beat faster (aka what are you passionate about)?
My heart beats faster for people who are in vulnerable situations, like refugees. Over my career of almost 25 years, that has been the common thread. I’ve worked for nonprofits that serve a critical need to vulnerable people. I know I can’t make big change on my own so I love to be part of excellent organizations that are truly impacting peoples’ lives. It also a big part of the reason we choose to live in Uganda.
What else?! What are we missing or something you would like to share with the Seed Effect family?
I am from Colorado and we are a family that loves being in the mountains, however Uganda is our second home, and we have moved here three separate times.
The first time was from 2003-2004 when my wife and I lived and worked at a rural boarding school in Uganda. We returned from 2010-2015 as I was leading Empower African Children.
At that time, we lived in Kampala where my wife taught at the International School of Uganda and my kids attended elementary school there. Most recently, we moved back to Kampala, once again, last year. My wife and kids (now in high school) returned to the International School of Uganda and I joined Seed Effect!
To read more about Jeremy, read his bio here!