Deborah Aubert Thomas

Name: Deborah Aubert Thomas
Title:    President & CEO
Phone: 614.914.2250

Here’s what I can help you with:

  1. Advocating and championing philanthropy in Ohio
  2. Empowering change through leading, educating and connecting
  3. Encouraging collaboration throughout philanthropy
  4. Channeling resources to support the field
  5. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts
  6. Authentic Leadership in Philanthropy program

What’s the best part of your job?

The people and the relationships! I have the pleasure of working with a dedicated and smart board of directors and a staff who are all at the top of their game. In addition, I get to meet and know inspiring professionals and learn about all the many innovative ways our members are impacting communities across the state.

When did you start work at Philanthropy Ohio?

September 2014

Career background/education?

Serving for five years as VP, programs & learning, where I provided vision and oversight for all Philanthropy Ohio educational programs and using my Connectedness®, Learner®Input® and Futuristic® strengths (Stengthfinders) to scan and engage with the national philanthropic landscape, collect best practices and develop processes to bring high-quality learning to Ohio philanthropy.

Prior to that I served as director of grants and programs at the Princeton Area Community Foundation and have experience coordinating the diversity internship program for Women & Philanthropy. I developed the National Girls Inc. Media Literacy after-school program and coordinated the Leadership Scholars program at the Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University. I hold a Master of Arts from the Steinhardt School of Education, New York University, and a Master of Science from the Milano Graduate School, New School University.


What do you love about where you live?

The sense of community and surrounding nature.

Favorite brand or flavor of ice cream?

Jeni’s Salty Caramel

What do you do outside of work?

Managing the busy lives of two children and my husband, pursuing health and fitness, reading or listening to books (mostly nonfiction) and volunteering on the board of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) and United Philanthropy Forum. I also enjoy and treasure travel and love a good movie.