Paths toward leadership*

This session will include some of my personal journey and opportunities for participants to explore defining their purpose. I will share about my campaigns and my time in office at the City and State level and answer questions. Government and leadership are extremely human processes, and I believe that everyone can have meaningful involvement and influence on the decisions that affect all of our lives. I’ll share some examples of individual impacts on policy decisions, and offer pragmatic suggestions for engagement. I’ll also facilitate some small group discussions to encourage participants to think about what they love and do well.


Debbie Phillips

Debbie Phillips was named as CEO of Rural Action in 2018, after having helped to grow the organization as its Development Director. She previously served as the area’s State Representative in the Ohio House from 2009-2016, until term limits kicked in. Phillips is particularly proud of having successfully changed Ohio law to prevent schools from charging low-income students for the materials necessary for their participation. Phillips also previously served as a member of Athens City Council.

She was the founding Executive Director of the Ohio Fair Schools Campaign, focused on promoting quality public education for all K-12 students. Debbie is a graduate of Ohio University and lives near Albany.

Debbie’s core purpose is to help connect people to a sense of agency and joy. She loves our region and its smart and resilient people.


*Session description and bio provided by the presenter.