Deborah became Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority in September 2017. This followed a long and distinguished career in public service.
After gaining a degree in politics, she began her career in 1984 with the London Borough of Newham. She then moved to Birmingham City Council where she worked on major regeneration projects. She also gained a master’s degree in economics.
She then moved to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in 1996 as Head of Policy. Deborah gained a second master’s degree in management. She then took up a two-year secondment with the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions. During that time she worked as Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team.
In 2003 she was appointed the Audit Commission's Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region. She became Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough Council. She then became Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency.
Deborah was Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council from 2011 to 2017. She has also been interim Chief Executive of Waveney District Council, Babergh District Council and Mid-Suffolk District Council.
She is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. She recently won the First Women Award for Public Service.
Deborah was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to local government. She is a dedicated and passionate female advocate at the forefront of the public sector.