Debra L. Ness

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Ness testifying at a U.S. congressional hearing on FMLA, July 2009

Debra L. Ness is the president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. She has previously worked for the Service Employees International Union and National Abortion Rights Action League.

Career[edit]

Ness graduated summa cum laude from Drew University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology. Ness received a Master of Science from the Columbia University School of Social Work after completing graduate work in social welfare and public policy.[1]

From 1980 to 1986, Ness worked at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), first as the director of adult education and career development efforts, and later conducting strategic planning and organizational development programs for local unions. In 1986, Ness moved to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) to head up field operations, and in 1989 was promoted to deputy director of the organization. In 1991, Ness joined the National Partnership for Women & Families (then the Women’s Legal Defense Fund) as executive vice president. In 2004, she assumed her current position as president.[1]

Ness also serves as the leader of the Campaign for Better Care, a health care initiative of the National Partnership for Women & Families, Community Catalyst, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the National Health Law Program. It is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies.[2]

Under Ness’s leadership, First Lady Michelle Obama said of the National Partnership in 2011, “Thanks to your tremendous efforts, the landscape of this nation has been fundamentally changed for the better: our workplaces are more family friendly, women and girls do have more opportunities, and many discriminatory practices have been completely abolished.”[3]

Board and committee membership[edit]

Ness is a member of the board of directors of the National Committee for Quality Assurance and chairs the organization’s Consumer Advisory Council. She serves on the board of the National Quality Forum and co-chairs the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project. She sits on the AQA Alliance Steering Committee and on the board of the National Priorities Partnership. Ness is on the Quality Alliance Steering Committee and co-chairs the QASC Patient-Reported Measurement Workgroup. She also serves on the Aligning Forces for Quality National Advisory Committee. In addition, Ness is a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Executive Committee and co-chairs its Health Care Task Force. She also serves on the board of directors of the Economic Policy Institute as well as EMILY's List.[1]

Previously, Ness served on the board of trustees of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.[1]

Notable contributions[edit]

Ness is a recurring contributor to the Huffington Post.[4]

Ness has provided expert testimony at more than a dozen congressional hearings. She advocated for paid sick leave policies during the 2009 swine flu pandemic before the House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health Subcommittee on Children and Families.[5][6] Ness has testified in support of the Healthy Families Act and the FIRST Act before the House Education Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.[7] She has spoken before the House Energy Subcommittee on Health, endorsing H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, and H.R. 2279, Eliminating Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment Act of 2009.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Debra L. Ness, President". National Partnership for Women & Families. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  2. ^ "Campaign for Better Care: About Us". National Partnership for Women & Families. Archived from the original on 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  3. ^ "Remarks by the First Lady at the National Women's Partnership Luncheon". White House Press Office. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  4. ^ "Huffington Post: Debra L. Ness". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  5. ^ "Testimony of Debra L. Ness before the House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee Hearing on Protecting Employees, Employers and the Public: H1N1 and Sick Leave Policies November 17, 2009" (PDF). House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  6. ^ "Testimony of Debra L. Ness before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families Hearing on the Cost of Being Sick: H1N1 and Paid Sick Days November 10, 2009" (PDF). Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  7. ^ "Testimony of Debra L. Ness for House Education and Labor Committee, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Hearing on the Healthy Families Act and the FIRST Act June 11, 2009" (PDF). House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  8. ^ "Statement of Debra L. Ness President, National Partnership for Women & Families House Committee on Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing on H.R. 1740, 1691, 2279, and 995 October 7, 2009" (PDF). House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2012-03-09.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Judith L. Lichtman
President of the National Partnership for Women & Families
2004–present
Incumbent