Debra Adams Simmons
Senior Director of Editorial Projects
An experienced journalist and media leader, Debra Adams Simmons spent several years as executive editor, history and culture, at National Geographic. She also served as vice president, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at National Geographic Media where she worked across The Walt Disney Company, NatGeo's parent company, on strategic diversity initiatives. Debra has extensive reporting, editing and senior management experience. She previously was the editor and managing editor, respectively, of newspapers in Akron and Cleveland before joining The Plain Dealer's parent company, Advance Local, as a vice president.
Debra is the immediate past board chair of The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, served as president of the Associated Press Media Editors and has been a member of the board of directors of the American Society of News Editors and the International Women's Media Foundation. Debra also has chaired several arts, education and other non-profit boards. Her civic involvement includes serving six years on the Ideastream Public Media board of trustees. Debra is a seven-time juror of the Pulitzer Prizes and a fellow of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Debra is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and the College of Arts & Sciences where she currently co-chairs the dean's advisory board.