Ambassador John Phillips was nominated by President Barack Obama on June 14, 2013, to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 1, 2013, and sworn in on August 16, 2013.John R. Phillips’ engagement in public interest law began in 1971 when he co-founded one of the first Ford Foundation-funded Public Interest law firm in Los Angeles, focusing on the environment, civil rights and corporate responsibility.He played a significant role in getting Congress in 1986 to modernize the dormant Federal False Claim Act which has since become the government’s primary tool in holding accountable corporations that have defrauded the U.S. government. The law firm founded by John R. Phillips has recovered 11 billion dollars for the U.S. Treasury under this law.In 2009, President Obama appointed him to be the Chairman of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley.