2023 Honoree Deborah R. Witkin
Debi is the first female Executive Director of Connecticut Legal Services (CLS). She oversees all departments including financial, administration, human relations, strategic planning, advocacy and legislative initiatives, and communications. Debi has held a variety of other roles within the organization since she joined in 2007, including Deputy Director, Regional Director of the Eastern Local Services Team and Director of Development. As a staff attorney, Debi practiced and litigated across a wide range of the organization’s practice units.
In addition to her work at CLS, Debi served as a Visiting Professor at Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she developed and directed the Health Law Clinic. She was selected as a Legal Services Corporation Fellow to run a year-long Poverty Law Clinic at the University of Connecticut School of Law and she is active in numerous community and legal networks.
Debi is a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, a member of the Advisory Council for the Office of Victim Services and a trainer for national seminars with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. She has held several leadership roles at a large non-profit agency that serves the greater New Haven area, including President of the Board of Directors.