Justin Holt


Director of Engagement

Debra is a mother, a global education facilitator, permaculture designer and advocate for experiential learning. Her love of the outdoors and commitment to community wellness can be seen in her personal and professional work over the past 20 years. Prior to joining TRF, Debra was based in Ghana, W. Africa. She is the co-founder of a garden-based leadership program as well as an organic farmer’s market. While in Ghana, she also received a few groups including Evergreen Community Charter School, who participated in her organization’s service-learning program. Debra served as the Director of Community Leadership at Warren Wilson College for 8 years, where she developed innovative student development models, supported faculty and established meaningful partnerships between the campus and local organizations. As a result of her work, she was nominated for the North Carolina Civic Engagement Professional of the Year. She continues to be involved with regenerative agriculture programs at home and abroad.

Debra has consistently worked alongside a wide range of nonprofits working to build their capacity and enhance their outreach. She has been deeply involved with food and agriculture, nutrition education, cultural connections and social justice initiatives. She appreciates how the natural world sparks our creativity and curiosity, and is one of our greatest teachers. It is no surprise then, that she found a home with TRF. As Director of Engagement, Debra is building our volunteer corps, supporting teachers enhance their curriculum,  managing our communications, and strengthening TRF’s overall mission.


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