Piper Phillips Caswell, CEO, PHILLIPS Programs


If you want to know what drives Piper, ask her about her favorite student quote, “They never gave up on me.” This sums up what students and their families experience at PHILLPS. Education was in Piper’s blood, even as a third grader when she converted a back yard garden shed into a school-house for neighborhood children younger than she was. Dubbed “The Peter Piper School” she delighted in teaching the children – especially helping a child with cerebral palsy and another with a learning disability. Every child needs a champion, and Piper has always been most attracted to those children with significant social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Piper brings 40 years of experience improving the lives of people with behavioral health and developmental disabilities through her diverse work as an educator, school administrator and program director. Her agenda is motivated by her commitment to social justice and equal access to services. She has served on numerous boards including PHILLIPS Programs for Children and Families, MANSEF and DCASE, Families for Private Adoption and Families Adopting Children Everywhere. 

In 2013 Piper was appointed President and CEO of PHILLIPS Programs after serving on the Board of Trustees for 14 years. PHILLIPS has always been a trailblazing program. Looking towards the next 50 years, she is committed to advancing career and technical education for youth and young adults with behavioral health issues in order to end the cycle of poverty and unemployment for this population. Piper earned her BA from George Washington University and her MS from Johns Hopkins University. When not at work, Piper loves baking, biking, all things Paul McCartney and the south of France.

PHILLIPS Programs is a private, nonprofit serving over 500 children and their families annually in the Washington metropolitan area. Since 1967, PHILLIPS has provided a place where youth left behind in traditional settings can get the education and supportive services they need to become successful and responsible. Our youth’s lives have been colored by a variety of personal and neurodevelopmental circumstances, so we tailor our approach to address each child’s unique situation. We give our youth and their families every advantage. PHILLIPS provides a fresh start, helping children develop critical life skills so they too can enjoy respect, acceptance and personal achievement.

At PHILLIPS, we believe any youth can overcome adversity, and we help them to prove it everyday. Each youth we serve is unique, and so is the combination of services we provide. Depending on their needs, as well as input from parents, educators, agencies or other involved parties, we offer: Special Education Day Schools Serving students from elementary grades through high school in nationally acclaimed facilities in Annandale and Fairfax, VA and Laurel, MD. PHILLIPS ~ Career Partners Providing intensive career and technical education (CTE) in a variety of career pathways: building trades in Fairfax and Loudoun County, 3D design & print at our Virginia campuses and culinary arts and vertical farming at our Maryland campus. PHILLIPS ~ Family Partners A nationally recognized program serving families and children with developmental, emotional and behavioral health needs through home- and community-based counseling, education, family support, advocacy and ABA services.

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