Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents the 12th District of Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before being elected to Congress, Debbie was the Chair of the Wayne State University (WSU) Board of Governors. An active civic and community leader, she is a recognized national advocate for women and children.
For more than 30 years Debbie served one of Michigan’s largest employers, the General Motors (GM) Corporation, where she was President of the GM Foundation and a senior executive responsible for public affairs. In her commitment to job creation, Debbie led the effort to bring the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, a $20 million partnership designed to help create jobs and economic growth, to southeast Michigan. She is a past chair of the Manufacturing Initiative at the American Automotive Policy Council.
With values instilled by her Catholic education, Debbie’s activism took root in her passion for issues important to women and children. She successfully fought to have women included in federally-funded health research, and advocated for greater awareness of issues directly related to women’s health, including breast cancer and women’s heart health. She is a founder and past chair of the National Women’s Health Resource Center and the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has served on numerous boards related to women’s issues including the advisory boards for the NIH Panel for Women’s Research, the Michigan Women’s Economic Club, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the board of the Michigan Women’s Foundation. She was a co-founder of both the first Race for the Cures in Michigan and in Washington, D.C.
Debbie has led a number of efforts and initiatives related to young people and education stemming from her role as a WSU Governor and co-chair of the Children’s Leadership Council, a business-led advocacy group that promotes investment in early childhood education. She chaired the Michigan Infant Mortality Task Force, the Baby Your Baby public education campaign that reduced infant mortality rates in Michigan, and has served on the board of Michigan’s Children, the only statewide independent voice working to ensure that public policies are made in the best interest of children from cradle to career. She was appointed by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to serve on the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth.
Much of Debbie’s recent work has been focused on ethical issues and social responsibility as they relate to government and business. She co-chaired One United Michigan, which sought to preserve and support programs that ensure equal opportunity in Michigan. She chairs the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a statewide organization that brings business, labor and government together to find commonality on issues. She continues to serve on the Parade Company board of directors of which she is past chair, where she helped save America’s Thanksgiving Parade, an important Detroit tradition. A known “bridge-builder,” she continues to promote and lead efforts toward greater understanding among people of differing points of views and backgrounds.
Debbie is a respected voice in Michigan. She co-hosted Detroit Public Television’s “Am I Right,” regularly served as a panelist on “Flashpoint,” a public affairs program on WDIV-TV4 Detroit, and was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business.
Debbie resides in Dearborn with her husband, retired Congressman John D. Dingell of Michigan. She holds both a B.S.F.S. in Foreign Services and an M.S. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.