Turning Points in France: Tara Phillips – Executive Director of La Maison Baldwin

On this episode of “Turning Points in France”, Patricia Killeen chatted with Tara Phillips.
Tara is a consultant, a writer and a leader. She has enjoyed a diverse career in the social
sector, serving for the past 30 years as a teacher, executive director, development director and
national program director. She has developed skills in organization and change management
to bring justice and equity to the education sector for communities across the United States.
Before consulting, Tara served five years as executive director of an elementary charter
school in Brooklyn, securing the school’s only five-year charter renewal.

Tara holds a B.S. in Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an
Executive Master’s degree in Consulting and Coaching for Change from HEC Paris, in
partnership with the University of Oxford.

She began her literary writing career in 2018, when she packed her bags, moved to Paris, and
launched her blog, “My Year on Mombbatical”, chronicling her insights and adventures
during an unexpected year off from parenting her teenage son. This platform allowed her to
ask the question, “What happens on the journey from “mom” to me?” and she was soon a
published writer.She had originally planned to stay here for a year but like many of us, the best-laid plans of mice and men made the Gods laugh and Tara is blossoming further in the City of Light 5
years later.

She has had many interesting turning points in her life, including her move to Paris,
experiencing lockdown here, developing her writing, and being appointed Executive
Director of La Maison Baldwin (named after writer James Baldwin) in January 2023.
She feels, “Baldwin already paved my way as a fellow writer and Black expatriate in Paris”.
WRP wishes Tara every success in her new role, knowing she’ll do her two Jimmys proud
(Baldwin and her deceased father Jimmy Phillips). Tara’s passionate essay, written in 2020: “Baldwin & Baguettes: A Mother’s Burden at a Distance” at the end of the interview, leaves us with so much to reflect on…

Listen to the episode here: