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About Deborah Jackson

Deborah Jackson served as the Mayor of Lithonia, Georgia from January 2012 to 2020.  She was the Chief Elected Official and responsible for oversight of the day-to-day operations of city government. Her duties included working with a City Administrator to manage public safety, public works, and administrative functions. Mayor Jackson prepared and managed city budgets; wrote and reviewed grant applications for funding and technical assistance opportunities; presided at city meetings; implemented comprehensive plan objectives; and represented the city at local, state and national forums. In addition, she initiated and led the collaborative effort with a private developer and downtown development authority, resulting in the redevelopment of distressed city property into a $12 million affordable housing project. Mayor Jackson was responsible for organizing the city’s participation in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) program to obtain technical assistance for the development of housing strategies. 

Deborah is also an attorney with over 30 years of experience. She has worked with private and governmental organizations as well as community groups in a number of capacities. Her expertise is in the area of community and economic development. Dr. Jackson’s completion of the doctoral program in Community Economic Development has strengthened her skills and ability to work with underserved communities to develop strategies to address their needs.

Dr. Jackson received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Public Policy and Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University. She has a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark; M.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from Rutgers Graduate School-Newark; and A.B. in History from Princeton University. She is currently a part-time Instructor at Georgia State University.


  • Member, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) Advisory Council
  • Member, Atlanta Regional Commission Community Resources Committee
  • President, CrossRoadsNews Foundation, Inc.
  • Board Member, Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, Inc.
  • Advisor, Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE)
  • Founding President, DeKalb Lawyers Association Community and Education Fund, Inc.
  • Past Executive Director of the National Conference of Black Lawyers
  • Past President, DeKalb Municipal Association
  • Past President, DeKalb Lawyers Association
  • Former Board Member, Georgia Municipal Association (GMA)


  • Robert E. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute
  • The Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute – Certificates of Recognition, Achievement and Excellence
  • Georgia Academy for Economic Development – Regional Economic and Leadership Development Certificate
  • Certificate, Morehouse School of Medicine Community Health Leadership Program, Satcher Health Leadership Institute
  • 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award – Office of the President & Corporation for National and Community Service
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