“When I was in the fourth grade, in order to achieve integration, my elementary school was ‘paired’ with a school that was literally ‘across the park.’ I became aware of the differences in the lives of the children from my neighborhood and those of the children from across the park, which was like walking into a different world. The picture was clear; white people lived in nice neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and black people lived in littered, neighborhoods that had an industrial feel. It was not fair. I had privileges that others did not and I wanted to do something about it. This was a pivotal experience for me – it framed how I saw and felt about the world.”
Founder and President of Guiding Change Consulting, Inc. Deborah is a leading organizational consultant and author who previously worked as a public interest lawyer. She brings intercultural insight and a passion for social justice to her work as a change catalyst — helping leaders and their teams transform themselves and the world by tapping into their wisdom and creative potential.
Deborah is a member and board member of the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science, author of Repairing the Quilt of Humanity: A Metaphor for Healing and Reparation, and serves on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (JABS).
Her work with organizational leaders and teams includes:
- Coaching leaders to live and work in alignment with their purpose and values, enabling them to re-ignite passion and bring out the best in themselves and others
- Working with team members to strengthen their relationships and collaborate creatively across differences
- Enabling leaders to make strategic decisions to overcome challenges, manage change and fulfill their organizational missions
In her prior career as a lawyer in high-level positions across sectors, Deborah was motivated to use the law to help create positive social change. She used her skills and talents to help organizations develop work environments that are inclusive and just. This led her to earn a master’s degree in organization development from American University/NTL after obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a law degree from the Northeastern University School of Law.
Previously, Deborah worked for the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute as Director of the Law School Consortium Project, where her focus was supporting law schools and solo practitioners to meet the legal needs of low and moderate-income communities. This experience gave her insight into the challenges nonprofits face in accomplishing important organizational missions with limited resources. Earlier, Deborah was Director of Career Services at New York Law School, where she focused on helping graduates of color and first generation law school graduates gain access to and succeed in the legal profession.
In the public sector, Deborah served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York Department of Law, and was Assistant Attorney General for Alaska’s Office of the Attorney General. She also worked in private practice in Washington, D.C.
Deborah’s experience also includes having lived, studied, and worked in Japan as well as working in Singapore and India. While an undergraduate majoring in East Asian Studies, she spent a year at Waseda University in Tokyo, where she studied Japanese language and culture, also earning her black belt in Judo. She returned to Japan later, after practicing law in Alaska, to study law for a year and a half at Doshisha University in Kyoto through a fellowship awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Education.