Deborah A. Gist

Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nominee:  Diane Tavenner

Deborah A. Gist is superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools and a proud graduate of Memorial High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in early-childhood education from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Arts in elementary education from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a doctoral degree in education leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to returning home, Deborah served as commissioner of education for Rhode Island. Deborah started her career in 1988 as a teacher in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1996, as an administrator, she designed and implemented a literacy program in the Hillsborough County School District in Florida. Deborah then served as a senior policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Education and as the Washington, D.C. state education officer. In 2007, she became the first state superintendent of education for the District of Columbia, overseeing early childhood through higher education.

Deborah was in the 2008 cohort of Broad Superintendents Academy fellows and a 2013 Pahara Fellow through the Aspen Institute. In 2010, she was one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and one of The Atlantic‘s “Brave Thinkers.”