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Dr. Deborah Pope

Executive Director
During her tenure as Executive Director, Deborah Pope has focused the work and mission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation on increasing diversity in children’s literature and enriching the quality of public education. Through her efforts, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award is recognized internationally as an imprimatur of quality children’s books for a diverse audience. She has expanded the EJK Bookmaking Competition in New York City to San Francisco, Baltimore and Atlanta; increased the scope and number of EJK Mini-Grants; and developed the Foundation website into an invaluable, wide-ranging source for families, educators and researchers. Deborah was a writer and an executive producer on an Amazon Original special of The Snowy Day. The show, which premiered in 2016, earned two Daytime Emmys®, including Outstanding Preschool Children's Animated Program. Her campaign for postage stamps honoring Ezra paid off in 2017, when the USPS issued a series of four stamps with scenes from The Snowy Day. Deborah came to the Foundation from an extensive career in theatre and arts-in-education. She was Founding Artistic Director of The New Theatre of Brooklyn (TNT), an award-winning regional theatre for which she developed an enriched arts-in-education program. She consulted on arts-in-education programming for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Education, served on granting panels for the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York Drama League, and was a board member of of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (ART/NY) and the Roundtable Coalition of Arts-in-Education Providers. Deborah has two daughters, and lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York.