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Duke Names New Director of North Carolina Leadership Forum

Program connects with state leaders on issues important to North Carolina

Deborah Goldstein Debbie Goldstein, who has served in a number of community policy roles in North Carolina and elsewhere, will become the new executive director of the North Carolina Leadership Forum.

The forum, a program of the Office of the Provost at Duke University, provides a venue for civic, business and political leaders from across North Carolina to discuss issues central to the future of the state, such as jobs, education and energy. The goal is to bring together people of different ideologies and backgrounds to discuss the nature of the challenges, to understand different points of view about how to address them, and to advance mutually acceptable solutions that improve the lives of North Carolinians.

“Debbie is a proven bridge builder and problem solver,” said Noah Pickus, associate provost at Duke. “She knows how difficult it is to forge genuine partnerships -- and the necessity that we find ways to make them real.”

Goldstein previously served as executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), a national policy organization based in North Carolina that advocates for fair and affordable financial services for low-income families. At CRL, she specialized in mortgage and student loan policy, worked closely with industry leaders, advocacy groups, and community leaders to craft policy solutions, and led fundraising and operations.

She also has played a key role in negotiating predatory mortgage lending reforms in New Jersey and Massachusetts, and worked on national financial regulatory policy, including the Dodd-Frank Act, after the financial crisis.

"NCLF has created an opportunity for local leaders to hold constructive discussions to address issues of critical importance to North Carolina,” Goldstein said. “I look forward to helping to continue and expand these vital conversations and hope to foster increased interest in understanding each other and how we might work together on topics that impact us all."

Goldstein has taught consumer law at the UNC School of Law at Chapel Hill as an adjunct professor. She is also active in the local community, having served on the boards of Durham Congregations in Action, Carolina Jews for Justice and Beth El Congregation in Durham.

Goldstein, a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, has lived in Durham since 2001.   

The North Carolina Leadership Forum is jointly funded by the Duke Endowment, the John William Pope Foundation, and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.