Deborah Thompson

Knowledge Specialist

 Deborah Thompson
Knowledge Specialist, Nonprofit Management Institute

Deborah Thompson is a nonprofit professional with 30 years of experience leading and working with mission-based organizations.  She is passionate about advancing the nonprofit sector through principles of servant leadership, good governance and accountability; and developing the next generation of nonprofit leaders who will champion missions that are vital to our community.

Deborah has professional experience working with a broad range of small grassroots and large national nonprofits. She enjoyed a 14-year career with Make-A-Wish America where she served as a national Vice President responsible for chapter performance, mission delivery, leadership and governance effectiveness across the U.S. In this role she also served as Interim CEO and Board officer for local chapters undergoing turnarounds, and facilitated board governance training efforts nationwide. Deborah subsequently joined New Pathways for Youth as its first Chief Operating Officer where she helped develop the organization’s expansion strategy and became a volunteer mentor.

Across her career, Deborah has served in leadership, fundraising and community development roles at several other nonprofit organizations including Scottsdale Arts, West Valley Arts, Youth Evaluation and Treatment Centers, Trinity College (CT) and Cumberland County Training Resource Center (ME). In 2019 Deborah became an independent consultant and formed Studio 929 West, offering strategic planning, board development, strategic transitional leadership and executive coaching for nonprofit organizations and leaders.

Deborah holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix and a B.A in American Studies from Trinity College (CT). She received a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from ASU’s Lodestar Center, a Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School and a Certificate in Interim Executive Leadership from Third Sector Company.  She is a member of Boardsource, Arizona Association of Nonprofits, and International Coach Federation.