Debra L. Ness, M.S. is President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Before assuming her current role as president in 2004, she served as executive vice president of the National Partnership for 13 years. Ness has played a leading role in positioning the organization as a powerful and effective advocate for today’s women and families.

Ness graduated summa cum laude from Drew University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. After completing graduate work in social welfare and public health policy, she received her Masters of Science from Columbia University School of Social Work.

Ness is a member of the Board of Directors and chairs the Consumer Advisory Council of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). She was recently elected to serve as the first public member on the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Board of Trustees and sits on the management board of the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR). She is also one of the first public members of the American Board of Internal Medicine Board of Directors. Ness co-chairs the Consumer-Purchaser Alliance, a group of leading consumer, employer, and labor organizations working to promote high value care through the use of quality measurement, smarter payment, and effective Health Information Technology (HIT). She serves on the Executive Committee of the Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF), and recently completed service on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum (NQF). In addition, Ness serves on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and co-chairs its Health Care Task Force. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).