Deborah Wadsworth led the nonpartisan education and public policy research organization Public Agenda from 1986 to 2004, initially as its executive director and then as its president. She continues to serve as a member of Public Agenda’s board of directors and as senior adviser to the organization. As an interpreter of Public Agenda’s in-depth opinion research, she has spoken and written widely on how average citizens think about issues ranging from abortion and education to crime, national security, health, and welfare.
Previously, Wadsworth served as director of the Smart Family Foundation and, prior to that, as program officer of the John and Mary Markle Foundation. As director of admissions for Purchase College, State University of New York, in the 1970s, she joined the founders of the college in developing a national student body for both its College of Letters and Science and its Professional School of the Arts. She has served as a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education as well as chair of the board of trustees of Bennington College. In 2010, Wadsworth stepped down after many years as chair of the EDC board of trustees.
Wadsworth holds degrees from Wellesley College and Columbia University.