Dr. Deborah Wilds chairs the Equal Opportunity Schools Board of Directors. She has had a long and distinguished career in education as a teacher, founder of an independent primary school, non-profit leader and philanthropy officer. She has dedicated her life’s work to serving children and youth.

Dr. Wilds served as the president and chief operating officer of the College Success Foundation, which mission is to inspire underserved, low-income students to finish high school, graduate college and to succeed in life. She also worked as a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led work to launch the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Washington State Achievers Program and Early College Initiative. Prior to her tenure at the Gates Foundation, she was the deputy director of the American Council on Education’s Office of Minorities in Higher Education, in Washington, DC.

Dr. Wilds is an active volunteer in the community and faithful servant in her church. She serves as a senior fellow for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and as a member of SPU’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Wilds has served on the Washington State Board of Education, Philanthropy Northwest, and as the chair of Seattle University Youth Initiative Advisory Board. She and her husband, Fred, are members of From the Heart Church Ministries, where she began a pre-college ministry serving over 500 youth. The Wilds now reside in northern California.

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