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Our President and C.E.O

Deborah De Sousa Owens, Ed.D

Dr. Deborah Owens is a fresh voice in the national education debate where she adds her perspective as a passionate educator and an advocate for underprivileged young people. From her early days of teaching children in church, she soon began helping underprivileged college students and even took on roles in both the teaching and administrative sides of the public education system. Through it all, her focus has always been on helping young people realize their potential.

Dr. Owens, who holds a doctorate degree in education from Vanderbilt University, advocates a pragmatic approach to addressing the problems of urban education. She is fond of saying, “If it works, I’m for it. I don’t care who gets the credit as long as the children get the benefit.”

Dr. Owens' background in business and the non-profit sector as well as in education gives her a well-rounded view of the cultural as well as the economic considerations in education reform. She has an undergraduate degree in business and worked at several major New York ad agencies. She also managed a nonprofit organization that provided scholarships to disadvantaged students. That experience gave her a different outlook on her calling as she became both a teacher and a school administrator.

Dr. Owens’ passion is helping underprivileged children get the education they need to have a better life. “Education has made all the difference in my life, and my hope is that everyone can have the opportunities I’ve had,” she says.

In addition to her wealth of experience, Dr. Owens also brings a disciplined academic approach to her study of effective reform. Her recent article, "The Effect of School Improvement Planning on Student Achievement," which appeared in Planning and Changing, the education policy journal from Illinois State University's well-respected College of Education, gives a hint of the creative approach behind Education for All.

Dr. Owens, along with her husband, the Rev. William Owens, Sr., have launched a new initiative to improve education in our country. Working with community, ministry, education and political leaders, they hope to create a powerful coalition that can focus attention on the needs of urban students and their families.

Download a PDF version of Dr. De Sousa Owens' biography here!

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