Deborah Mathis, ICNC’s Director of Communications, develops, executes and coordinates ICNC’s communications, marketing, and media relations, working in collaboration with the organization’s staff and advisors.
Deborah has extensive experience as a communications strategist and media coach, most recently as a consultant to an array of national and international non-profit organizations and campaigns. Her work in communications commenced at the end of a long career as a working journalist, including stints as a managing editor, nationally syndicated columnist, broadcast news producer and news anchor.
Her journalism career culminated in an assignment as White House correspondent for Gannett News Service during the Clinton Administration. As part of the White House press pool, Deborah traveled with the president and covered the processes, politics and “ground effects” of the administration’s policies and actions.
Upon leaving the White House beat, Deborah accepted a fellowship from the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, where she researched and authored a case study on the media’s response to the racial dynamics imbedded in the controversial presidential election of 2000. Her study, “No Seat at the Table,” was published by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
As Communications Director for the Public Justice Foundation, which supports a national public interest law firm, Deborah managed media relations, editorial projects, website design, video production, and social media management, and was a member of the Foundation’s management team. She produced the organization’s annual meeting and gala programs, securing former President Bill Clinton as keynote speaker on one such occasion. Deborah helped raise Public Justice’s stature on the public stage, with high-profile placements in the country’s major news outlets. Working with the law firm’s attorneys, she specialized in translating complicated legal cases into stories and reports that appealed to general audiences.
Prior to her tenure at Public Justice, Deborah was vice president of media and communications for an African trade consulting firm and traveled frequently to the continent. Then, to cap off her journalism career, she became an associate professor at Northwestern University’s distinguished Medill School of Journalism, teaching political reporting to graduate-level students at Medill’s Washington, D.C. campus. Deborah was also managing editor of Medill’s Washington bureau.
In a bow to her love of writing, Deborah has researched and/or edited educational and non-fiction trade books for a number of publishing companies and authors. She has written five non-fiction books of her own, debuting with the acclaimed “Yet A Stranger: Why Black Americans Still Don’t Feel at Home” (Warner, 2002). Deborah is also a popular motivational speaker and socio-political commentator.