Biography of Rev. Debora Jackson, DMin, MDiv, ME, MS, BS
The Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson is Professor of Practice and Dean of the Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a premiere STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based institution recognized for project-based education that integrates the theory and practice of management. In response to changing industry needs, Dr. Jackson seeks to promote research, collaboration, and partnerships that understand broader societal needs and recast the vision for business education in ways that prepare leaders to disrupt, reorient, and innovate for societal impact.
Dr. Jackson comes to WPI having served as Director of Operations of All Girls Allowed, a faith-based, non-profit organization committed to restoring life, value, and dignity to women by providing resources that promote healing and wholeness. Previously, Dr. Jackson was Director of Lifelong Learning at Yale Divinity School and was responsible for developing a robust program to assemble and leverage the abundant intellectual and professional resources of the School for the betterment of churches and other ministries.
Prior to her appointment at Yale Divinity School, Dr. Jackson was the Executive Director of the Ministers Council of the American Baptist Churches, USA, a prestigious and historic organization dedicated to the support of American Baptist clergy. She led the Council from 2012 to 2017, helping the organization restructure and revitalize while securing important new revenue streams. Previously she served for eight years as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Needham, MA, which under her leadership reversed years of decline and flourished as a church known for its engaged preaching, new ministries, and extensive outreach.
Dr. Jackson worked in business for 20 years, with an emphasis on IT and software engineering, before heeding the call to ministry. Key roles she held during that time included Chief Operating / Chief Information Officer of an e-commerce energy services provider and as Managing Director of a supply chain / IT consulting group.
Dr. Jackson received her Doctorate in Ministry, emphasis in Leadership, and Master of Divinity degree, emphasis in Spirituality, both with honors, from Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a Master of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Indiana University.
Dr. Jackson is also a consultant who leads custom, high impact engagements, including strategic planning, conflict resolution, and leadership development, for non-profit and faith-based organizations. As an author, Dr. Jackson has written numerous articles and two books, Meant for Good: Fundamentals in Womanist Leadership (Judson Press, 2019) and Spiritual Practices for Effective Leadership: 7 R’s of Sanctuary for Pastors (Judson Press, 2015), which was the 2016 Illumination Book Silver Medal Award Winner.
INSIGHT into Diversity spoke with The Business School Dean Debora Jackson about the new Executive PhD program and how it is giving executives the opportunity to support social justice initiatives and diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Dean Jackson told INSIGHT that with this program, WPI is “making an impact for the betterment of society because we are helping our leaders to understand the value of giving back.”
The Worcester Business Journal reported on The Business School’s new Executive PhD program, which is designed to help senior leaders influence their industries, give back to younger generations, and contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.