Debra believes that entrepreneurs can solve even the toughest social problems. That is why she devotes so much time to advocating for and advising social ventures in the United States, Europe, Africa, India and Latin America. Before joining the corporate world, Debra worked in the non-profit sector with food and housing cooperatives and in the Massachusetts state government, running an energy conservation program for low income residents. Debra joined Hewlett Packard in 1983, starting as a manager in the executive development group and ending as a senior executive. The common threads in her broad, 22 year career at HP were driving change, creating new businesses and producing positive social impact concurrently with good business results. She ran Manufacturing, Marketing and Human Resources at the division level before becoming a division General Manager. Then she moved to corporate headquarters and led a wide range of company-wide functions and initiatives. For the last 3 years of her career at HP Debra was Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Citizenship. In that role, as a member of HP’s Executive Committee she had leadership responsibility for HP’s global citizenship efforts including corporate social and environmental responsibility, government and public affairs, corporate philanthropy and HP’s e- inclusion initiatives aimed at providing appropriate, technology based services and solutions to emerging markets and underserved populations. Debra was in the middle of many tumultuous changes at HP including the spin-off of the original Test and Measurement business to form a new company called Agilent and the hiring of Carly Fiorina, the first CEO ever brought in from outside the company. She stayed at HP because of her faith in and resonance with the values that Hewlett and Packard had embedded deep into the fabric of the company. In her last role she had the opportunity to champion those values both within HP and in the broader corporate community as the leader responsible for global citizenship during the aftershock of the cascade of corporate scandals at Enron, WorldCom and other big name companies.
Debra left HP in June of 2005 to catch her breath and focus on the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, environmental and social sustainability. She now spends much of her time building bridges building between corporations, government, non- profits, and academia, as she believes that these challenges are best tackled by weaving together the skills and influence of these diverse sectors. She is on the boards of the Skoll Foundation and Global Giving and the faculty of Sustainability. She advises a wide range of social ventures.
Debra has played an active role coaching and teaching classes at the Stanford d.school since Spring of 2006.
Dunn holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative economics from Brown University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard.
She gets inspiration and grounding by spending as much time as possible in wild nature and hanging out with her husband, Randy Komisar and their two dogs, Lola and Rufus.
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