Director, Campus+City Consulting, Philadelphia Office
Deborah helps cities and regions attract and retain college talent, positioning communities and economies to growth and thrive.
Deborah led Campus Philly for 10 years, transforming it into the national model for college student engagement and retention in cities. She’s an expert in regional college and university collaboration, creating linkages between employers and higher education, and place-marketing and communications for the college student audience.
As the co-founder of Young, Smart and Local, Deborah has created a network of cities all focused on talent growth. She has led projects for Richmond, Rochester, Tulsa, Norfolk and Hartford, among others, helping those cities create programs to engage and retain their college students.
Deborah comes to this work with an understanding of what it means to champion a city, from her role leading Campus Philly and, prior to that, as the first director of research and strategy at Visit Philadelphia, the tourism marketing organization for the Greater Philadelphia region. She combines this with a background in market research, having spent six years as a market research consultant for service industries, conducting thousands of focus groups, analyzing survey data, and figuring out how to demonstrate impact for sometimes hard-to-measure initiatives.
Deborah started her career as an academic, receiving her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago, followed by a Mellon Post-Doctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows at Columbia University and teaching at Bryn Mawr College (where she received her undergraduate degree.) The focus of her academic work was in political philosophy, specifically on the question of how much we need to have in common in order to tolerate our differences.