Phil Radford

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January 2, 1976 in New Brunswick, New Jersey


Environmental Activist

Former Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

Founder, Progressive Power Lab

Co-Founder, Democracy Initiative

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Phil Radford is a left-wing environmentalist activist and the former executive director of Greenpeace USA (2009-2014). He is also the founder of president of Progressive Power Lab, co-founder of the Democracy Initiative, a board member of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and a board member of the left-of-center environmental advocacy group Green Corps.


Radford’s roots on the left wing of the environmentalist movement go back to his high school days; he canvassed for the Fund for the Public Interest and Illinois PIRG. After graduating college, he joined Green Corps, another Public Interest Network organizing group. 1

He was the grassroots director for Ozone Action, a job he held from 1999 to 2001. He said he helped push Ford, General Motors, Texaco and Exxon to withdraw their membership from the Global Climate Coalition, a group that was skeptical of man-made global warming. 2

He was the founder and CEO of Power Shift in 2001, a position he held until 2003. Power Shift advocated for clean energy policies. The organization worked with the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and Berkeley to secure solar and energy efficiency power for municipal buildings. 3 While working at Power Shift, Radford negotiated with Citigroup to stop the banking firm from investing in fossil fuel projects and redirect the money to solar projects. 4

Greenpeace USA

Also see Greenpeace USA (Nonprofit)

Radford joined Greenpeace USA as its grassroots director; from 2009 through 2014, he worked as CEO of the U.S. affiliate of the international radical environmentalist organization. 5

Radford was among hundreds of protesters arrested at an anti-KeystoneXL pipeline rally outside the White House in August 2011. Others included actress Darryl Hannah. 6

Radford advocated applying “outside pressure” to companies to change instead of fighting for new laws; to that end, Greenpeace teamed with other environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, Oceana, and Mission Blue to work retailers Safeway and Trader Joe’s and fast food chain McDonald’s to urge Alaska to take action to preserve underwater Bering Sea canyons. 7

Progressive Power Labs

Radford is the president of Progressive Power Labs, which “incubates and supports” progressive organizations seeking to expand their fundraising operations. The Progressive Power Labs houses both the Membership Drive and the Progressive Multiplier Fund. 8

The Progressive Multiplier Fund says it provides money for nonprofit policy, legal advocacy and media that focus on the issues of climate change, corporate accountability, criminal justice reform, voting rights, left-wing economic and environmentalist policies, gun control, LGBT rights, mass incarceration, minimum wage, and gender equality among other progressive issues. 9

Democracy Initiative

While at Greenpeace, Radford helped found the Democracy Initiative, a coalition of liberal and far-left groups advocating universal voter registration, opposing voter ID laws, backing campaign finance reform and ending the Senate filibuster. Other Democracy Initiative co-founders in 2013 were Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club; Larry Cohen, then-president of the Communications Workers of America labor union; and Ben Jealous, then-president of the NAACP.

The coalition also included Public Campaign, Common Cause, People for the American Way and National People’s Action. 10

They initially held an invite-only off-the-record meeting after the 2012 election with some 30 group representatives present at the headquarters of the National Education Association. The other progressive organizations, with differing endgames agreed their goals could more quickly be accomplished by curbing money in politics, fighting voter ID laws, and ending the Senate filibuster. 11

Other Organizations

Radford is a board member of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Radford is also a board member of Green Corps, and was a former board chairman of the Mobilization Lab, which housed environmental groups, from 2011 to 2014. 12


  1. “Phillip D. Radford.” Fund for the Public Interest. Archived from the original June 1, 2013. Accessed April 09, 2019.
  2. Speaker Profile. Phil Radford. Netroots Nation. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  3. Phil Radford. LinkedIn. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  4. Phil Radford. LinkedIn. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  5. “Phillip D. Radford.” Fund for the Public Interest. Archived from the original June 1, 2013. Accessed April 09, 2019.
  6. Staff. “Keystone Rally Leaves Hundreds Arrested.” United Press International. August 31, 2011. Accessed April 7, 2019.
  7. Radford, Phil. “A Breakthrough in How We Work to Protect Our Oceans.” Huffington Post. December 6, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  8. Phil Radford. LinkedIn. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  9. Frequently Asked Questions. Progressive Multiplier Fund. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  10. Radford, Phil. “If you Want to Breath Clean Air, Senate Reform and Democracy Matter.” Huffington Post. July 15, 2013. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  11. Kroll, Andy. “Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics.” Mother Jones. January 9, 2013. Accessed April 6, 2019.
  12. Author Page. Phil Radford. Huffington Post. Accessed April 6, 2019.
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