Deborah started her career in local government in 1984 within the London Borough of Newham. She then moved to Birmingham City Council in 1987 where she worked with voluntary organisations and on major regeneration projects in the City.
Deborah has held a number of local government positions, including Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough Council in 2003 and interim Chief Executive of Waveney District Council between January and March 2008. She was Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency between July 2008 and December 2011.
Prior to this, Deborah was Head of Policy at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. This was followed by a secondment with the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions as Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team, with specific responsibility for the East of England.
Deborah was awarded an OBE in 2006 for her services to Local Government.