Debra Joy Pérez, Ph.D.

Debra Joy Pérez
Chief Equity Officer

Dr. Debra Joy Pérez is the Chief Equity Officer at USP. In this role, Debra partners with USP leadership to champion, promote, help shape and implement diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging on a global level.

During her career, Debra has been instrumental in assisting teams in developing strategic approaches to diversity, equity and inclusion in multiple non-profit sectors, including philanthropy and higher education. She is a social scientist by training and has worked to develop the field of public health services and systems research and address inequities in health care.

Before coming to USP, Debra was Senior Vice President for Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity at Simmons University. In this role, she was responsible for expanding Simmons’ significant programs and practices underlying the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Debra earned a Bachelor’s in Communication from Douglass College; a Master’s in Social Science and Women’s Studies from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England; a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York; and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University.

She’s the founder of multiple national networks of diverse and under-represented fellows and scholars, including New Connections, Latina Researcher Network, and the LGBTQ+ Scholars of Color Network.