Press Release

National Geographic Society Names Dr. Deborah Grayson as Chief Education Officer

Grayson to lead effort to bring Explorer Mindset to millions of students, educators

Photo by DFinney Photography

Photograph by Photo by DFinney Photography

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 25, 2022 — The National Geographic Society today named Dr. Deborah Grayson as its Chief Education Officer. In this role, Grayson will further the Society’s efforts to amplify and extend the work of National Geographic Explorers into classrooms, communities and with young people, in support of the Society’s mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

Grayson currently serves as the Senior Director of Leadership and Organizational Development at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), where she leads the design, development, and implementation of a strategy for leadership and organizational development. She begins her role with the National Geographic Society on September 19.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Deborah to the team,” said Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO, National Geographic Society. “Education is a core pillar of our mission and Deborah’s extensive experience, combined with her passion for cultivating the best educational experiences for students and educators, is exactly what we need at the National Geographic Society. She will be instrumental in helping the Society amplify the work of Explorers into classrooms and with young people.”

As a member of the senior leadership team, Grayson will collaborate closely across the organization to further the goals of the Society’s strategic plan, NG Next, and will help advance its vision for millions of educators and young people to develop an “Explorer Mindset” by 2030.

“As an educational professional who has built my career around elevating learning experiences for both educators and students, I could not be more thrilled to join the National Geographic Society,” said Grayson. “I am passionate about bringing Explorer-centered learning experiences that reflect diverse perspectives about our world to millions of students and educators around the globe.”

Grayson has more than 20 years of experience leading a variety of leadership, learning, and organizational development initiatives in the United States and internationally. Prior to her role at ARL, she served as the Vice Provost of Learning Design and Experience at the University of Maryland Global Campus, where she and her team were responsible for the design and development of online courses, creation of open educational resources, and the design and implementation of global learning.

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.