Recognizing the value of disparate voices, St. David’s offers students, parents, faculty members and the local community access to a wide variety of guest speakers. Join them for their Women in Leadership event.
Deborah Ross focuses her law practice on meeting the economic development, energy, utilities and infrastructure needs of businesses and government. She advises businesses and governmental agencies and legal, regulatory, and public policy landscape. Deborah represents clients before governmental agencies and permitting officials, as well as in appeals to state and federal courts. Her work includes general counsel to the Research Triangle's regional transit authority, a decade in private practice focusing on infrastructure, energy and utilities, leadership of a statewide non-profit organization and her longstanding service to the state of North Carolina as an elected representative. She also taught for more than a decade as a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law and worked as an ethics consultant for the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. She has served on the board of the NC Center for Public Policy Research and is an advisory member for the US Global Leadership Coalition. In 2014, she was recognized by the North Carolina Bar Association as a Citizen Lawyer. Deborah is a regular contributor for the Elements of Growth Blog, which provides news, information, and resources about infrastructure and economic development in the Southeast.
Carol Folt (schedule permitting) is the University of North Carolina's 11th chancellor. She came from Dartmouth College, where she was interim president in 2012-13 and served as a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences and academic leader. As a widely respected scientist, Folt and her student's pioneering work on the effects of dietary mercury and arsenic on human ecosystem health led to numerous changes in national and global policy and consumption advisories around the world. Folt graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning both a bachelor's degree in aquatic biology and a master's degree in biology. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Davis and undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University before joining the faculty at Dartmouth.
Bev Purdue (schedule permitting) served as the 73rd governor of North Carolina from 2008-13. She is the first woman to serve the state as governor. Prior to her term as governor she served as the state's Lieutenant Governor from 2000-08. Bev also served in the NC House of Representatives from 1987-91 and in the NC Senate from 1991-2001. After retiring from public service, Bev was a Resident Fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Education Administration. She is currently chair and founder of digiLEARN, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to accelerating digital learning for all ages.