Born and raised in the shadow of the state Capitol, Debbie has devoted her life to public service, both in the Capitol and the community. Starting during her senior year at UC Davis, Debbie spent her entire career providing security to elected officials and the public as a Senate Sergeant-At-Arms, culminating with her selection in 2014 as the first female and first African-American to be elected the Senate’s Chief Sergeant-At-Arms. This also made her the first woman in the country to serve as the Chief Sergeant-At-Arms of a state legislative body.
After retiring in 2017, Debbie served as a Trustee of the State Bar of California, which licenses, regulates and disciplines attorneys. Part of that mission was to maintain the Bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the legal and judicial professions and the funding of legal services for underserved communities, both of which are particularly important to her.
Debbie was also co-founder of the Black Youth Leadership Project and has volunteered for more than 20 years with Leadership California, a statewide women’s leadership organization whose motto is “Moving Women from Success to Significance.” The group works to increase the representation and influence of diverse women leaders across the state and inspire them to act on their knowledge of issues and cutting-edge trends facing California.