Phillip Denny

Director, Big Ideas@Berkeley

Phillip serves as the senior program director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies, a position he assumed shortly after the center was established in 2006. He manages the Big Ideas@Berkeley contest — one of the oldest and most respected student innovation competitions in California. In this capacity, he has encouraged and supported approximately 1,400 interdisciplinary teams to develop creative solutions to today’s most pressing social challenges. Under Phillip’s direction, the Big Ideas contest has helped secure millions of dollars in seed funding for student start-ups, expanded the contest to 18 campuses, and recruited over 1,000 industry, government, and nonprofit experts to judge ideas and mentor participants.

As recognition for his leadership of Big Ideas, he received UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award in 2015. Prior to joining the Center, Phillip held leadership roles in multiple successful grass-roots and political campaigns, specializing in research and communications strategies for both candidates and organizations.