C. Philip Byers
C. Philip Byers is Executive Director of Education Freedom Alliance. In 2014, he was named president of Challenge Foundation Properties, a sister organization to TeamCFA that helps connect the network’s charter schools with the building resources they need for long-term success. In continuing his work with TeamCFA, he also serves as the Southeast Regional Director for Challenge Foundation, one of the network’s sister groups.
After serving in the law enforcement field for two decades and retiring in 2006 as Sheriff of Rutherford County, North Carolina, Philip joined the Thomas Jefferson Community Education Foundation as Executive Director. He continues to work with the Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy, serving as a board member and former board chair of the 1,295-student charter school. Mr. Byers is also a founding member of the Lake Lure Classical Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy in Lake Lure, North Carolina.
In addition to Philip’s TeamCFA-related board positions, he currently serves on the UNC Board of Governors, as appointed by the NC House of Representatives; the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees, as appointed by Governor Pat McCrory and he recently finished his service on the NC Economic Development Board, Advantage West, as appointed by the NC Senate.
During his tenure in law enforcement, Mr. Byers received acclaim while leading the fight against methamphetamine production in rural western North Carolina and, as a result, testified on three occasions before the United States Congress. He was instrumental in crafting state and federal laws governing meth production and lab apprehension.
Byers was also part of a Federal Hate Crime Task Force from 1996-1999 that worked with the FBI, ATF, US Attorney and local law enforcement to dismantle the Ku Klux Klan and the White Supremacy movement. Their investigation led to numerous arrests in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Texas and Georgia. As a result of the investigation, Philip received performance awards from the US Attorney, FBI and ATF. Many leaders of the White Supremacy remain in prison today as a result of the Federal Hate Crime Task Force.
Mr. Byers holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Appalachian State University, a Master’s of Public Affairs from Western Carolina University and he participated in the Law Enforcement Executive Program at North Carolina State University.
He is a member of several organizations, including Kiwanis International, Masonic Lodge, Oasis Shrine, Pi Gamma Mu National Honor Society, Toastmaster International, Appalachian State University Alumni Association, Western Carolina University Alumni Association.
Philip is married to Erina Khodorovskaya.