Deirdre Macnab

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Deirdre Macnab
Born (1955-12-14) December 14, 1955 (age 63)
United States
Known forVoting rights activist

Deirdre Macnab (née Coulson, born December 14, 1955) is an American women's rights and voting rights activist. She is former president of the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL)[1] and is currently a member of Florida's Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.[2][3] She serves as a Knight's Fellow-in-Residence[4] at the University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service and is a solar energy activist in LWVFL, acting as chairperson for their solar energy[5] initiative.

Early life and education[edit]

Macnab was raised in Manhattan and moved to Florida in 2004.[6] She graduated with an M.B.A. from Columbia University in marketing and finance and a bachelor's degree from New York University[6] in history and political science. After moving to the greater Orlando, Florida area, Macnab joined the board of MyRegion[7], a seven-county visioning coalition in Central Florida and WMFE's Community Advisory Board[8], in addition to joining the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL).[9]

Political career[edit]

Macnab became president of the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL)[10] in 2009, where she spearheaded petitions for fair voting districts in Florida, tax reform and voter protection,[11] and worked towards opening a dialogue with Cuba by organizing several delegations to the country.[12] During her tenure as LWVFL president, two state constitutional amendments ending gerrymandering were finally accomplished, after 60 years of work by the Florida League.[13]

Under her presidency, the LWVFL announced a lawsuit in April 2014 protecting Florida voters from being purged from voter rolls within 90 days of a federal election.[14] The state eventually decided not to purge the voter rolls.[15] During her leadership, serious restrictions on voter registration drives were imposed[16] and eventually removed because of the League's work.[17] It eliminated roadblocks to voting by demanding the Florida Legislature re-institute early voting days, and the Sunday before election day[18], following long delays, including eight-hour lines in Miami, that voters faced during the 2012 Presidential election.[19] The LWVFL also pushed for fairly-drawn congressional districts and saw fair districting upheld and implemented in 2014.[20][21]

Deirdre Macnab was nominated for the National Slate of the League of Women Voters of the United States in 2014, and was then nominated to be their National President in 2015. Her bid for the presidency was unsuccessful.[22] She is generally credited with having transformed the Florida League of Women Voters as well as many state policies during her long tenure as president.

Her latest initiatives include lobbying for the implementation of civil citations[23] as a way to curb the school to prison pipeline and reduce youth arrests.[24] She heads the campaign to take Florida to the number one position in rooftop solar and[25] harness the sun to truly make Florida the "Sunshine State". As League Solar Chair, she educated the voting public about two 2016 ballot amendments, helping defeat one and pass the other.[26] "The Next Car Pledge" is her most recent push, educating people about the benefits of zero emission electric cars or "EVs".

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2012, Macnab was awarded the 2012 Florida Achievement Award by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.[27] The Orlando Sentinel named her the Most Influential Central Floridian of the Year the same year.[28]

In 2013, she was recognized by La Prensa Florida as a Community Champion during their annual Mujeres Destacadas Awards[29]. She was recognized for her leadership and placed in the Congressional Record in 2014. [30] In 2015, Audubon Florida honored her with the Women in Conservation award.[31]


  1. ^ "As president of... -Deirdre Macnab". Orlando Sentinel. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  2. ^ "United States District Court: Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission 2013–2015". United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  3. ^ "About Deirdre Macnab". Orlando Sentinel. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Fellows In Residence". Bob Graham Center. University of Florida. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  5. ^ Macnab, Deirdre (19 March 2017). "Lynn Nillsen and Deirdre Macnab: Future bright for solar in Florida". Herald Tribune. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b Owens, Paul (20 January 2013). "Central Floridian of the Year Deirdre Macnab: League's Leader, Inspired by History, Fights for Votes". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Connecting Our Communities: MyRegion.Org". MyRegion.Org. Central Florida Partnership. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Community Advisory Board". 90.7 WMFE. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  9. ^ "LWV Of Florida". League of Women Voters. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  10. ^ "Commission honors outstanding women for volunteer work in their communities". Florida Commission on the Status of Women. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  11. ^ Rew, Jenna (12 October 2009). "Executive Profile: Deirdre Macnab". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved 15 August 2016. (Registration required (help)).
  12. ^ "Delegation from US's League of Women Voters Visit Cuba - CubaMINREX". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
  13. ^ Klas, Mary Ellen (2011-12-08). "Florida House maps draw near to spirit of Fair District amendments". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  14. ^ Alvarez, Lizette (April 2, 2014). "In Florida, Bid to Cut Voter Rolls Is Set Back". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Man, Anthony (27 March 2014). "Gov. Rick Scott's Administration Retreats From Latest Plan to Purge Voter Rolls". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  16. ^ Allen, Greg (10 October 2011). "Florida Law Tightens Voting Rules, Angers Advocates". WNYC News. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  17. ^ Gray, Kevin (29 August 2012). "Judge to lift restrictions on Florida voter registration". Reuters. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  18. ^ "GOP's "Block the Vote - 2012" - Politics Nation w/ Al Sharpton". YouTube. MSNBC Politics Nation. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Bills would reinstate early voting Sundays before elections". The St. Augustine Record. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  20. ^ Ross, Melissa. "League Of Women Voters Of Florida On The Implications Of Their Redistricting Suit Victory". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  21. ^ Klas, Mary Ellen (1 August 2014). "Fla. judge orders new congressional map". Miami Herald. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  22. ^ Kassab, Beth (16 June 2014). "National Women Voters League Not Ready for Florida Brand Advocacy". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Florida Civil Citation". Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
  24. ^ Welch, Catherine (6 December 2017). "CIVIL CITATIONS BRING JUVENILE ARRESTS DOWN IN ORANGE, OSCEOLA". 90.7 WMFE. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  25. ^ Tampa Bay Times: Vote for Amendment 4 and Turn the Lights on for Solar
  26. ^ Pamela, Goodman (15 September 2016). "Amendment 1: Don't let utilities stunt sun power's growth in Florida". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Florida Achievement Award". Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Archived from the original on 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  28. ^ "Orlando Sentinel's 2012 Central Floridian of the Year is Deirdre Macnab". Orlando Sentinel. 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  29. ^ FERNÁNDEZ, MIGDALIA (12 March 2013). "La Prensa honra a mujeres hispanas". La Prensa. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Congressional Record, Volume 160 Issue 31 (Tuesday, February 25, 2014)". Government Printing Office. 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  31. ^