President & CEO
Phil Littleton is a passionate and determined advocate for children, and firmly believes that every child deserves to know the love and security of a family. As president and CEO, he brings clear vision, strong leadership and a commitment to the children, adoptees and families served by Holt International.
Phil came to Holt in 2004, hired as the vice president of marketing and development, in response to a strong calling that he and his wife, Julene, felt to the mission.
Staff, management and the board of directors recognized Phil’s impact and influence on the mission, and soon Phil took on the role of chief operating officer. In 2011, the board of directors asked Phil to become the eighth president and CEO in Holt International’s 65-year history. As Skip Hanson, Holt’s current board chair, says, “Phil embodies Holt’s core values and has demonstrated his commitment to the mission of Holt International since he joined more than 15 years ago.”
Phil is a nonprofit executive, child welfare advocate, humanitarian and adoptive father of three. He leads the organization’s activities to engage donors, corporations, foundations, governments and the public in Holt’s work; and guides the organization in developing programs that serve the global community and achieve Holt’s mission of strengthening families, and finding families for children who need them.
At Holt, Phil has successfully grown international operations into 16 countries, including the U.S., and expanded Holt’s global reach to impact the lives of more than 250,000 children annually. He led efforts to launch Holt programs for children and families in Africa and South America, and helped to expand Holt’s long-standing child welfare programs across China, India and Southeast Asia. In his time as CEO, Phil has also led the organization in the acquisition and merger of several well-respected child welfare organizations, leading to the expansion of Holt’s social service work — including foster care and domestic adoption in the U.S.
Phil has enjoyed a highly successful 30-year career in a variety of senior leadership positions in industries including investment banking, entertainment, advertising and humanitarian relief and development.
Prior work included serving as group vice president at the Russ Reid Company, the largest marketing and advertising company in America serving the nonprofit sector, where he managed a group of nonprofit accounts including World Vison. During his tenure, World Vision experienced significant growth from $300 million to one of the largest U.S. charities at $800 million, serving more than 40 million children annually.
He currently serves as the treasurer and an executive board member for the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), the leading global adoption advocacy organization headquartered in Washington DC.
Phil has received numerous awards, including an Angels in Adoption honor awarded by the United States Congress in 2018.