Dr. Deborah Pope
During her tenure as Executive Director, Deborah Pope has focused the work and mission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation on increasing diversity in children’s literature and enriching the quality of public education.
Through her efforts, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award is recognized internationally as an imprimatur of quality children’s books for a diverse audience. She has expanded the EJK Bookmaking program in New York City schools to the city of San Francisco, increased the scope and number of EJK Mini-Grants, and developed the Foundation website into an invaluable, wide-ranging source for families, educators and researchers. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Keats’s first book as a writer and illustrator, Deborah initiated plans for a major retrospective of his life and work, which traveled for three years to six major museums across the country.
Deborah came to the Foundation from an extensive career in theatre and arts-in-education. She was Founding Artistic Director of The New Theatre of Brooklyn (TNT), an award-winning regional theatre for which she developed an enriched arts-in-education program. She consulted on arts-in-education programming for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Education, served on granting panels for the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York Drama League, and was a board member of of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (ART/NY) and the Roundtable Coalition of Arts-in-Education Providers.
Deborah has two daughters, and lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York.