In 2018, Rep. Robinson successfully flipped his district Democratic for the first time in nearly 40 years. In the process, he became the first African American to represent the suburban district. Rep. Robinson is running for re-election in 2022 to continue to expand educational opportunities for all Ohio students, work for economic stability for Ohio families, and fight for equal opportunities for all Ohioans.
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Phil saw firsthand how sacrifice, dedication, and perseverance make it possible to live the American dream. Like many other African Americans, his parents’ families migrated from the South to the North for opportunities and they stayed for the community. Phil learned the values of family, hard work, and service from his parents who worked overtime and nights to move their family from the inner city of Cleveland to the suburb of Bedford Heights. Phil watched his parents sacrifice to give him and his sister a chance at a quality education and a better way of life.
After graduating from Gilmour Academy – and with the help of an academic scholarship, work-study programs, and summer jobs – Phil earned his undergraduate degree in finance from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Like many of his classmates, he was deeply affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Instead of seeking a job on Wall Street after graduation, Phil chose to serve as a congressional legislative aide for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Eventually, Phil and his wife decided to move back home to Northeast Ohio. In between demanding work as a marketing consultant to both small and Fortune 500 businesses, Rep Robinson found time to tutor middle school students on his lunch hour. He was so inspired by their stories that he left a successful career in the private sector to pay it forward in the nonprofit community. At the same time, he went back to school full-time, earning his Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.
After a successful career in the private sector, Phil served as the Executive Director of City Year Cleveland, an education nonprofit that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. He led the organization out of debt, doubled the budget, and expanded services to help more students graduate from high school. Under Phil’s leadership, City Year doubled its revenue, grew its operations by 20 percent, and helped a Cleveland school increase its graduation rate from 39% to 73% in five short years.
Phil would go on to use his business expertise and MBA to serve as the Senior Vice President for Regional and Site Operations for City Year, Inc. He oversaw all aspects of operations for 28 U.S. sites, including five regional vice presidents, nearly 700 site staff, 3,000 AmeriCorps members, and a total revenue budget of $168 million. Today, Phil is the Chief Impact Officer for Reading Partners, a national education nonprofit. He is responsible for coaching, supporting, and managing all regional executive directors; overseeing more than 400+ site and national operations staff; overseeing all AmeriCorps programs and community volunteer engagement efforts; and building external partnerships and business development opportunities. Prior to his current role, Phillip served as the managing director and chief operating officer for Education Board Partners, responsible for strategy development, operations, HR and finance, and the programmatic teams.
Phil is a devoted husband and father of two. He is also active in the community and with the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. Currently, Phil serves on the boards of Gilmour Academy and the United Black Fund Foundation. Phil has received numerous awards and honors including Crain's Cleveland Business 2015 Forty Under 40, Pahara NextGen Leader (a program of the Aspen Institute), Crain's Cleveland Business "Who to Watch in Education," Leadership Cleveland Class of 2013, Top 25 Under 35 Movers and Shakers by Inside Business Magazine, and The George Washington University Wall of Fame. Phil, and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Solon with their two children.