Deborah has served as President and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation since 2007.  Deborah was instrumental in establishing the Foundation’s Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program, a Kauffman CampusesSM Initiative, to spread entrepreneurship across liberal arts campuses; and in establishing NEOLaunchNET, formerly the Blackstone LaunchPad Program. She spearheaded the Foundation’s decision to establish the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment, a research center that advances the field of entrepreneurship education through leading edge research projects and programs.

Awards & Experience

Deborah received the Northeast Ohio EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2014 in the Educational Services & Nonprofit category and received the 2015 Foundation Leadership Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland Chapter. She also received the 2016 Deshpande Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

Deborah served from 2013-2015 as Chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaborative created in 2004 to advance the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio and she continues to represent the Fund on the Team NEO Board of Directors, serving as Secretary and on the Governance Committee. She is Chair of the Advisory Council for the Foundation Center – Midwest and serves on the national Board of The Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Deborah also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and served for many years on the Board of Western Reserve Academy in Hudson.


Deborah earned her B. A. from Williams College and a Masters in the History of Art from the University of Chicago.  She continued graduate studies at George Washington University National Law Center where she earned a J.D. degree and was a member of the Law Review.  She is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and Ohio. Deborah completed the “Governing for Non-Profit Excellence" and the "Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations," executive education programs held at Harvard Business School.  Deborah also holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Baldwin Wallace University. Deborah is currently pursuing a Masters degree in History at Kent State University.

Fun Facts

Favorite place to travel:  Australia

Favorite activities:  Kayaking, hiking, and climbing

First entrepreneurial venture:  At age 11, Deb and friends founded a town - cleverly named Woodsville - in the forest behind their neighborhood and started a store to serve town “residents.”

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