Executive Vice President
As Executive Vice President of Hager Sharp, Debra designs and manages large-scale national communications efforts including message development, creative, media and social media strategy, and working with policymakers and thought leaders. She’s played a major role in the firm’s management and growth, building an education team that continually delivers outstanding results for clients such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, widely called “the Nation’s Report Card.” The revamped “report card” has won top national awards, as have related outreach materials and strategies. Debra also provides strategic counsel for a range of clients, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health.
Debra brings a reporter’s eye for news to her work at Hager Sharp, and high-level experience in public policy communications. She led communications at two Cabinet-level agencies: the Commerce Department during the highly contentious US-China trade agreement; and the Small Business Administration, where she led a re-brand of the agency.
As a member of the Senate Leadership staff, she organized communication activities involving the president, Cabinet members, and congressional leaders. She was a Bagehot Fellow at Columbia—the country’s leading fellowship for business and economics journalism. She was recently recognized by Washington Women in Public Relations as the PR “Woman of the Year.”