Deborah is a nationally recognized psychologist and diversity management thought leader. She currently serves as Chief Diversity Officer at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care where she has primary responsibility for developing and executing a coordinated and comprehensive diversity plan that cultivates an inclusive academic health sciences center.
As a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Quantitative Health Sciences, and the Graduate School of Nursing, she continues her research on diversity metrics and cross-racial friendships while teaching cultural competence in healthcare and strategies for reducing health disparities. She is the lead author in the design and development of the Diversity Engagement Survey (DES), a tool for measuring diversity and inclusion in organizations.
Deborah has held past roles as staff psychologist, hospital system chief diversity officer, university professor, founding director of a graduate degree program in diversity management, and principal consultant for D.L. Plummer & Associates which provided diversity and change management strategies for over 80 organizations in the U.S. and U.K. In 2016, Deborah was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the Top 15 Chief Diversity Officers to Know.
As a writer, Deborah is the editor of the Handbook of Diversity Management (Rowman and Littlefield) and author of Racing Across the Lines: Changing Race Relations through Friendships (Pilgrim Press) which received the publisher’s Mayflower Award for best publication in the category of Church and Society. She has also authored several book chapters and published numerous journal articles to the professional community on racial identity development and managing diverse work environments. She has written for Diversity Executive and the Boston Globe Magazine. Her most recent publication is Advancing Inclusion: A Guide for Effective Diversity Council and Employee Resource Group Membership (Half Dozen Publications). Her essay “The Girl from the Ghetto” is published in the anthology All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World—Essays on Equality, Justice and Freedom (NBTT Publications). Her forthcoming book, Some of My Friends Are…The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships will be published January 2019 by Beacon Press.
Deborah is most passionate about creating inclusive organizations and building peaceful communities. She is active in the community as a member of the Links Incorporated and Diverse Professionals Roundtable. She is a proud board member of GrubStreet, one of the nation’s leading writing centers, and cherishes her work with the New England Advisory Board and Leadership Council of Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that empowers people to think critically about history and to understand the impact of their choices.