Debra is the President of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). She grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from the Williams School, an independent school located on the campus of Connecticut College. Debra received her B.A. in English from Sewanee, The University of the South, and her J.D. from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. She previously served as general counsel for NAIS for 19 years. In addition to her role as chief legal officer, she has presented to school leaders around the country and abroad, including at many SAIS events. SAIS school leaders may also know her from phone calls and emails she’s fielded from member schools facing particular legal or governance issues. Before joining the NAIS staff, Debra was a tax litigator at the Department of Justice. She is an avid reader, photographer, and cook, and loves to be outdoors in the low country of South Carolina.