Executive Director

Debra Riggs



Born and raised in New York, Debra attended Kent State University for her undergraduate degree.  Her first position was as a case manager in the juvenile justice system.  

After relocating with her spouse and children to Little Rock, Ark., she attended graduate school for her master’s degree in social work. In addition to attending school, she was a social worker for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Inc.

Debra’s career in the nonprofit sector has spanned more than 35 years. She has worked for charitable organizations, trade associations, and has been the executive director of NASW Virginia chapter for the past 22 years. In addition to her leadership in Virginia, she was named executive director of the NASW DC Metro Chapter in February 2020.

Her resourcefulness, creativity, and eye toward innovation led to her naming as NASW Executive Director of the Year in 2012. She also continues to hold the prestigious Certificate of Association Executive certification from the American Society of Association Executives, a recognition of leadership excellence held by less than 10% of U.S. association leaders. 

Debra serves on numerous boards of directors, as well as advisory boards with schools of social work. She currently chairs the Longwood University Advisory Board.

A longtime Richmond resident, Debra lives with her husband and many dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys interior and landscape design projects and travel. 

Reach Debra at