Phil Southerland, CEO and Co-Founder, Team Novo Nordisk, portrait
Hometown: Atlanta, GA, United States
Position: CEO and Co-Founder
"Exercise is the ‘billion-dollar drug’ for the management of diabetes that does not get prescribed enough."

Phil is a global ambassador for diabetes and is committed to educating and empowering people with diabetes across the world. Born in Florida, USA in 1982, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just seven months old when doctors told his mother he was unlikely to live past the age of 25. Now in his 30s, Phil controls his diabetes through diet, exercise and a disciplined regime. He is driving a global movement to redefine the boundaries for those living with diabetes by advocating managed care and control.

Phil began cycling at the age of 12 and climbed through the ranks of junior competitions. He has participated in various cycling challenges throughout his career including the Race Across America, a 3,000-mile tag-team competition in which he first won in 2007.

In 2005, Phil combined his passion for the sport and his mission of raising awareness to establish Team Type 1, an organization that included athletes with diabetes. Under his leadership, the dynamic squad rapidly grew from a cycling team into an enterprise of over 100 athletes, spanning the globe to inspire and unite people affected with diabetes. In 2011 Phil founded the Diabetes Sports Research Institute to establish clear guidelines for diabetes and sport and authored the book ‘Not Dead Yet’, which chronicles his life from early diagnosis of diabetes to professional cyclist and his mission to change the face of diabetes on a global scale.

Phil is a Board member of the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF and a faculty member of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Young Leader Program, International Diabetes Center (IDC) Rising Star Program and the International Forum for the Advancement of Diabetes Research and Care. He is also Director of Health Care Policy, Planning and Patient Advocacy, WHO Collaborating Center, International Diabetes Center and Mayo Clinic.

In 2012, Phil and the team partnered with Novo Nordisk to create Team Novo Nordisk – a squad of word-class athletes who are all living with diabetes. Today, the team now includes nearly 100 triathletes, runners, and cyclists, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes pro-cycling team. Phil believes that this sporting platform is a unique opportunity to show the world what is possible with great diabetes management.