Deborah Markley, Ph.D.

Co-Director / Sr. Vice President, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship / LOCUS lmpact Investing

Chapel Hill, NC

Accelerate Collaboration, Act Local First, Co-Create Policy, Prioritize Equity, Shift Capital  |  Community Capital, Community Economic Development, Funding / Investment, Rural Community Development

Deborah draws on decades of field-based research to manage strategy that helps community leaders build a prosperous future by supporting business, social and civic entrepreneurs with solutions that empower them to find their own answers to the economic development challenges and opportunities they face.

Deborah Markley co-founded the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in 2001 (located in NC and NE). In 2017, the Center joined Virginia Community Capital to launch LOCUS, a social enterprise focused on local investing for impact. Prior to 2001, Deb was a rural economic development consultant and faculty member at the University of TN, the University of MA and Purdue University. Deb is on the Southern Rural Development Center Board and the Healthy Communities Initiative Advisory Council for the Kansas Health Foundation. She was part of the WealthWorks community of practice, developing an approach to doing economic development differently. She partners with the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group to advance community development philanthropy. She enjoys gardening, hiking and cooking. Deb received a BS and MS in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a PhD in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech. She was born in Camden, NJ and calls Chapel Hill, NC home.