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Growing up in Anniston, Alabama, Noble’s father, J. Phillips Noble, a Presbyterian Minister, was involved in the civil rights movement during Gov. George Wallace’s tenure as Alabama governor. FBI files indicate Noble’s father was a top target of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
After graduating from Tennessee Military Institute in 1969, Noble attended several colleges and universities, graduating from Birmingham-Southern College in 1974.
Working in politics and technology
Since becoming involved in politics as a young child in John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign, Noble has started two businesses, Phil Noble and Associates and PoliticsOnline, working with over 350 public affairs, civic, corporate, and political clients in over 40 countries, helping to elect heads of state in 25 countries.
After retiring from campaign politics in the 1990s, Noble began focusing on developing major interactive civic engagement technology projects with clients such as the BBC, European Union, United Nations, Amnesty International, and The Aspen Institute. Noble also authored ‘Guide to Internet and Politics,’ thought to be the first guide of its kind in the industry.
Working in South Carolina
In 1985, Phil Noble founded the Palmetto Project, a community service group that has initiated over 200 innovative projects focused on economic development, education, conservation, and improving access to health care. Noble served as the executive director from 1985-1992. In 2008, Noble founded One Laptop Per Child SC with a pledge to provide an educational laptop for every public school student in the state - the first such pledge in the country. To date, they have provided over 3,000 laptops in pilot projects in 15 schools across the state.
Noble has also been involved in South Carolina politics as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1994 and as President of the South Carolina New Democrats, an independent reform group started by former Governor and US Secretary of Education Richard Riley. Noble also served as an early advisor to Barack Obama’s South Carolina primary campaign.
- Noble, P: Beyond the Burning Bus: The Civil Rights Revolution in a Southern Town, page 107. NewSouth Books, 2003.
- Harvard former fellows Retrieved 7 September 2010