Deborah was named Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at the University of Louisville in July 2014. In this role, she also served as Executive Director of the University of Louisville Alumni Association. Deborah guided the work that engaged UofL’s 130,000 living alumni around the world. She was elected to the university’s Commission on the Status of Women, and the Fund for UofL raised nearly $5 million in her first year, setting a new record for the annual fund effort.
During her tenure at UGA, she was promoted from Director of Alumni Programs and Services to Associate Director and was named Executive Director of Alumni Relations in January 2005, after serving as interim for a year. The Association was honored with numerous regional CASE awards for excellence in alumni programming and communication, and Deborah was a member of many university committees including the Graduate School Advancement Board. She was recognized with the Division of Student Affairs 2011 Pillar of the Community Award for excellence in her professional work and community service.
Widely considered a leader in her field, Deborah was one of only five women in the Chief Alumni Relations Officer role at the US News and World Report Top 25 public institutions. She been president of the Alumni Directors of the Southeastern Conference and chaired the Council of Alumni Association Executives Summer 2008 Institute.
She is a frequent presenter at conferences and often interviewed regarding alumni relations matters. Newsweek magazine featured her thoughts in a 2009 article about the effect of Facebook on class reunions and other alumni activities. Deborah’s research interests center on women and leadership. She is particularly focused on issues surrounding gender equity in representation and compensation.
Deborah is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton and serves as a volunteer for the Georgia Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She has been a member of the Rotary Club of Louisville, and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Louisville. In Athens, she was active in many charitable organizations and was named 2007 Businesswoman of the Year by readers of the Athens Banner Herald. She was a member of Athens Rotary and was 2010-2011 host mother for her Club’s GRSP student. Deborah was also the Faculty adviser to the UGA chapter of Rotaract. In June 2013, the Athens Rotary honored her with the Charles Ostick Work Horse Award in recognition for her service to the Club and the Athens Community. Deborah was President of the Junior League of Athens in 2004-2005 and remained an active sustaining member of the League until her move to Louisville in July, 2014. She served on the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in numerous roles including Parliamentarian and Chair of Women in Business Council.
She was one of the local celebrities who participated in the 2011 Dancing with Athens Stars to benefit Project Safe, an organization which assists women who are victims of domestic abuse. Through this event, Deborah and her fellow contestants raised more than $100,000.
Deborah was active in the Athens Chapter of the American Heart Association, where she was 2004 Heart Ball Chair. She was a board member for the Athens Habitat for Humanity Affiliate and was an Ambassador for several Women Build projects. She was frequently involved with the programs of the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, emceeing the group’s annual dinner in 2005.
At the state level, Deborah is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Georgia and was a Trustee for the Georgia Women of Achievement from 2010-2014.
Following her sister’s April 2011 multiple myeloma diagnosis, Deborah has become very active in raising awareness for this incurable blood cancer. For more than a year, she authored a biweekly column, Big Sis in Burgundy, for The Myeloma Beacon, one of which was honored as the top 10 for 2011. She has become deeply involved in the work of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, on whose website she is featured. Deborah has completed the Chicago Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, NY Marathon and the Empire State Run Up as a member of the MMRF’s Power Team, along the way raising nearly $35,000 to support research. She continues her efforts on blogger.com as Burgundy Big Sis.
Deborah resides in Lawrenceville, Georgia with her husband, Peter Anderson, and their three dogs, Riga, Bula and Agra.