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She graduated from Brandeis University in 1987 and earned master’s and Ed.D degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a founding partner of the consulting company, Firefly Education LLC.
- 2007 MacArthur Fellows Program  She is confirmed to deliver the 2012 commencement speech at her alma mater, Brandeis University. 
- Deborah Bial to speech at 2012 commencement http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2012/march/commencement.html