insight & inspiration in entrepreneurship

Debi Brooks

Inventors Versus Entreprenuers

Deborah W. Brooks is co-founder and executive vice chairman of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Ms. Brooks launched MJFF with Michael J. Fox and served as the Foundation's president and chief executive officer from October 2000 to February 2007. With a background in business and finance, she brings strategic leadership, business acumen and an entrepreneurial approach to the Foundation, which has grown rapidly from a start-up to the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's disease research.

Ms. Brooks oversees the Foundation's fundraising, communications and digital strategy teams, serving as a senior adviser on strategic and programmatic direction. She works closely with MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, as well as the Foundation's executive team and Board of Directors to articulate and realize the vision of MJFF as an unprecedented stakeholder in drug development - a nimble, resourceful, patient-focused problem-solver whose efforts are demonstrably accelerating progress toward treatment breakthroughs and a cure.

Ms. Brooks serves on several boards, including the Advisory Board for FasterCures' Philanthropy Advisory Service and the Board of Overseers of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she serves on the MBA Advisory Board of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the Advisory Board for Women in Business at Tuck. She is a past member of the Parkinson's Institute Board of Directors, Pfizer's U.S. Health Advisory Board, the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council of the National Institutes of Health, and External Advisory Board for Emory University's Collaborative Center for Parkinson's Disease Environmental Research. She is also a past director of the Parkinson's Action Network.

Ms. Brooks started her career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she spent nine years as vice president in the Fixed Income and Asset Management Divisions. She holds an AB in economics from the College of William and Mary, an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and an MS in marital and family therapy from Northwestern University.