For more than three decades, Debra Ness has been a strong advocate for fairness and social justice. Drawing on an extensive background in health and public policy, Ness possesses a unique understanding of the issues that face women and families at home, in the workplace, and in the health care arena. Before assuming her current role as president, she served as executive vice president of the National Partnership for 13 years. Ness has played a leading role in positioning the organization as a powerful and effective advocate for today’s women and families.
In addition to leading the Campaign for Better Care — an initiative that is working to ensure that reform is implemented in ways that improve health care for the oldest, sickest and most vulnerable patients — Ness serves on the boards of some of the nation’s most influential organizations working to improve health care.
Among them, Ness sits on the boards of the National Quality Forum and the National Priorities Partnership. She is a member of the Board of Directors and chairs the Consumer Advisory Council of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and was recently elected to serve as the first Public Member on the American College of Cardiology Board of Trustees.
Ness graduated summa cum laude from Drew University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. After completing graduate work in social welfare and public health policy, she received her Masters of Science from Columbia University School of Social Work. She joined the National Partnership in 1991.