As a DC-based managing director, Debra leads work with philanthropists, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs focused on advancing social justice causes and innovative advocacy strategies. Deeply invested in movement building and grassroots organizing, Debra is passionate about a diverse slate of progressive causes, and she works to help her clients make tangible progress on their goals and support the creation of a more equitable and just world.
Debra has more than 20 years of experience in advocacy campaigns, campaign management, and strategic planning with NGOs and funders. Prior to joining Arabella, she served as the director of international tobacco industry accountability strategy at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Under her leadership, CTFK successfully removed tobacco companies from strategic international alliances including the UN Global Compact and the International Labor Organization, documented and exposed covert influencer marketing leading to social media platform policy changes, and documented youth-focused marketing at points of sale that led to 14 countries passing tobacco control laws. Debra has also served as the managing director for Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety and the inaugural director of the Walk Free Movement to End Global Slavery.
Earlier in her career, Debra also worked as a consultant for large-scale, grassroots advocacy organizations on the international and domestic stages and as a senior vice president at M+R Strategic Services. Her portfolio as a consultant included AARP, HRC, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Polaris Project, and SPARC, among numerous others.
Debra holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Santa Cruz. She is also passionate about voting rights and voter enfranchisement, and she has helped to direct multiple US electoral campaigns.