Don Phillips, Chief, Engineering and Development Section, CTBTO’s IMS Division until 2008
Don Phillips served his national government as a Navy pilot, at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as a technical advisor to the US delegation during the CTBT negotiations (1994-96), before joining the CTBTO in 1999. In different senior management positions, he has been responsible for the installation, operation, certification and maintenance of the 337 facilities that comprise the International Monitoring System.
Q: The Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was created in 1997 with only nine staff members. As former International Monitoring System (IMS), Director Gerardo Suarez described it, most members of that initial 1997 IMS team were new to the world of multilateral diplomacy – and new to each other, coming from nine different countries and quite diverse backgrounds as they did. Could you tell us a little more about those early days? When did you join?
The initial senior management team of the IMS Division came together in 1997. At that time I was still working for the United States on the installation of their 38 IMS facilities so I didn’t arrive at the CTBTO until two years later in 1999. Some of the original senior managers worked together for up to nine years while others departed after five or six years.