Debi Chess Mabie has over 25 years of nonprofit program development and leadership experience in a variety of sectors– including youth and community development, and arts-based economic development. In 2017, she resigned her position as the Executive Director of the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly Tucson Pima Arts Council) where she helped lead and shape the newly emerging conversation around the role of the arts–and funding for the arts– in economic development and city planning endeavors.
She accepted a Community Impact Fellow appointment by the University of Arizona School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in November 2017. She is working in that capacity at the Dunbar Pavilion: An African American Center for Art and Culture, to help build capacity and steward the organization into its next 100 years of cultural significance in Tucson and Southern Arizona.
She is the Board Chair and a founding member of the Tucson Black Film Club, and a board member of the Nonprofit Loan Fund, and TedExTucson, She is on the advisory committee of the Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art.
Debi has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Wright State University and a master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.