About The Founder

Rick Phillips, M.S. Ed.

Rick Phillips is the Executive Director and founder of Community Matters. The lead author of Safe School Ambassadors: Harnessing Student Power to Stop Bullying and Violence, published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley (April, 2008), Rick has been interviewed on The Today Show, CNN, and many print, radio, and regional/national interview shows as an expert on violence prevention and empowering youth. Rick is also the author of “Ten Years after Columbine: School Violence-Prevention Report Card”

As the creator and co-developer of Safe School Ambassadors®, a youth-centered, violence prevention program that has been implemented in more than 1,000 schools across the United States and Canada, Rick has become a nationally-recognized educator, speaker, facilitator, and trainer who brings years of expertise and practical experience to schools and communities across the continent and abroad.

Rick has been a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at more than 500 national and state conferences, including those for the Search Institute, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Middle School Association. Rick has spoken on topics including; “Empowering Youth to Stop Bullying and Violence,” “Strengthening Adult-Youth Partnerships for Improving School Climate,” “Breaking the Code of Silence,” and “Building Safer Schools from the ‘Inside-Out.’”

Rick earned his Master’s of Science Degree in education from the University of Southern California where he was a recipient of a United States Office of Education Fellowship. He has been a principal and teacher at elementary, middle, and high schools, a school district and county office of education administrator, and a Regional Director at the Healthy Kids Center for the California Department of Education. Rick is a father, grandfather and champion of children and youth.

You can find Rick on and Twitter