Consulting Associate Professor, Stanford d.school
Debra is focused on tapping the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to tackle the world’s toughest social problems. She believes that the students of today will drive the transformation towards a future of greater peace, social justice and economic and environmental resilience.
At the d.school, Debra is spearheading classroom and project work in Design for Sustainable Abundance, a radically human centered approach to sustainability. She is also collaborating with faculty members across the university to develop and deliver integrated curriculum and community based research in the area of sustainable food systems.
As the founding board member of B Lab she is working to build a new business sector of companies (B corporations) committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency in addition to financial performance goals. To date almost 700 companies have become B corps (including Patagonia and Ben and Jerrys). She is a leading champion and proponent of social entrepreneurs as a board member of the Skoll Foundation and an advisor to IDEO.org, Yoxi and numerous social entrepreneurs around the world. As a board member of Stanford Jazz Workshop she works to build and maintain a vibrant community that appreciates and perpetuates jazz as a culture and model of innovation.
Debra has played an active role coaching and teaching classes at the Stanford d.school since Spring of 2006.
Previously she worked as a business executive at Hewlett Packard where her career spanned diverse roles including Sr. VP Corporate Affairs & Global Citizenship, VP Strategy & Corporate Operations, Division General Manager, Marketing Manager & Manufacturing Manager of Video Communications Division, and Human Resource Manager of Stanford Park Division. The common threads in her broad, 22 year career at HP were driving change, creating new businesses and producing positive social impact concurrently with good business results. Before joining the corporate world, Debra worked in the non-profit sector with food and housing cooperatives and in the Massachusetts state government, running an energy conservation program for low income residents.
Dunn holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative economics from Brown University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard.
She gets inspiration and grounding by spending as much time as possible in wild nature and hanging out with her husband, Randy Komisar and their two dogs, Lola and Rufus.