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Deborah Parizek


Executive Director

A non-profit leader and educator with 25 years of experience in dynamic learning environments, Deborah Parizek drives HFLI’s efforts to provide workshops, programs and site coaching that pair effective education and human-centered design approaches, empowering learners to lead transformational change in, with and for their community. She is known for cultivating the conversations, empathy, and capacity critical to addressing complex challenges. Deborah was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2018 Notable Women in Nonprofits report, and by Corp! Magazine as a 2019 Most Valuable Professional.

Prior to joining HFLI in 2005, Deborah designed and directed extensive teacher leadership development programs for multiple school systems and earned the distinction of Master Teacher from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She served as one of the founding teachers of Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn, Michigan, helping shape its vision and write curriculum for many of its core components, including the Senior Mastery Process. Deborah earned an M.A. Educational Studies, an M.A. in Chinese Languages and Literature and a B.A. in Chinese and Russian Studies, all from the University of Michigan.

A thoughtful champion of Design Thinking’s role in changing how we learn and lead, Deborah is a frequent presenter at national and local events, consistently sharing actionable information with real-life applications.

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