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Deborah D. Bailey currently serves as the vice president of economic and workforce development and continuing education at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Western North Carolina. She has over 28 years of experience working in higher education, focusing on leading programs that provide access to education for post-traditional students and designing ways to co-create space for adults in traditional higher education.  

In addition to her work with adult learners, she has chaired and co-chaired strategic planning committees, worked to build effective partnerships with industry, and developed curriculum for onboarding new students, new programs and online learning. She currently serves on the foundation board for the local high school and is co-chair of the board of directors with Blueridge Public Radio (BPR) in North Carolina.  

She is a proud “army brat” who loves travel and meeting new people. She lived and worked abroad for five years postgraduation and cultivated a global worldview and a keen interest in leadership. The focus of her dissertation research is on women in leadership, as she seeks to continue to remove barriers for women pursuing leadership goals.  


Doctoral Candidate (Global Leadership, Concentration in Academic Administration) | Indiana Institute of Technology  

MBA | University of Phoenix 

B.F.A. | CalArts 

Past Experience:

Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education | A-B Tech Community College 

Dean, College of Professional and Continuing Education | Wentworth Institute of Technology 

Director, Center for Adult Learners | Lesley University 

Vice President, School of Professional and Adult Learners | Montreat College 

Campus Director | Montreat College 

How has education changed your life/your family?

As a first-generation college student, I have seen firsthand what college can do to change the trajectory of your life. While being the first comes with a lot of pressure, it also comes with a lot of support. Pursuing my education has afforded me opportunities to learn and grow and to provide for my family; but more importantly, it has set an expectation for my daughter who is the beneficiary of my success. She recently completed her master’s degree and is in a successful job as a data analyst. Education opens your mind to what is possible and exposes you to so many things that you would not normally encounter – it makes you curious about the world.  

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