Mr. Phillip Heyl

CEO of The Heyl Group

Phillip Heyl, is the CEO of The Heyl Group, an independent management consulting firm focused on Africa.  In addition, he is a senior advisor to the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) where he continues to guide the standup of the Interregional Coordination Center (ICC) in Yaoundé, Cameroon, a first-of-its-kind effort to coordinate a collective African response to maritime threats in the Gulf of Guinea.

Mr. Heyl is also currently the senior maritime security advisor for Africa for the U.S. State Department where he has assisted more than twelve African countries in developing national maritime safety and security strategies and implementing plans designed to enable economic development in the maritime domain.

As Chief of the Air and Maritime Security Branch in the Strategy, Plans and Programs Directorate (J5) at U.S. Africa Command, he was responsible for the strategic development, oversight, and execution of air and maritime security programs on the continent of Africa. He advised the regional economic organizations ECOWAS and ECCAS on regional integration of air and maritime security efforts, which led to their sponsorship of the Code of Conduct for West and Central Africa, signed by Heads of State in Yaoundé. Mr. Heyl also guided component engagement in sustainable air and maritime capacity-building and maintenance programs. These included the U.S. Navy’s African Partnership Station (APS) and U.S. Air Force’s Air Domain Safety and Security (ADSS). He personally developed the Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership, an asymmetric program that builds sustainable capacity of navies and coast guards in Africa through combined operations with U.S. assets.

Captain Heyl retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2009 following a 32-year career that included several major USCG commands. He has served as a director on the National Security Council, and as the Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. As Commander of Sector Key West, he led efforts to counter illicit activities and human smuggling as well as SAR in the strategic Florida Straits. Over the course of his career, he has also guided the standup of eight coast guards in the Western Hemisphere and Africa – including those in Belize, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Colombia, Haiti, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe, and Sierra Leone.

Mr. Heyl has published numerous articles on maritime security and regularly appears in the media and the policy arena as an expert on air and maritime security issues.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (BS) and the Naval War College (MS), and the George Washington University (MPA).