The Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies Advisory Council provides guidance and subject-matter expertise to define the mission and advance the goals of KCVS. We are honored to welcome Dr. Deborah Alexander to our team.
Deborah Lynn Alexander, PhD
Deborah Alexander is a former U.S. Department of State senior advisor. She retired to Kentucky in 2017 and now focuses on higher education philanthropy, local justice, housing, interfaith initiatives and women veterans; she also serves as a U.S. delegate on international election observation missions. She is an Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) graduate and earned her PhD from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
After the U.S. was attacked on September 11, 2001, Alexander requested assignment to Afghanistan, serving there for a decade. She has also worked in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Pakistan, Somalia and Ukraine. For most of her diplomatic career, she was posted as an advisor to senior military officers. Her diplomatic portfolio focused on elections, civil-military relations, rule of law, women’s advancement and countering violence. Prior to Alexander’s overseas work, she was a local and state government official in New York state. After the Yugoslav War ended, she was recruited by the U.S. State Department to assist countries transitioning from communism, conflict or in political crises.
U.S. Army Special Operations honored Alexander in 2018 with a lifetime membership in the Civil Affairs Regiment. She is a recipient of Syracuse University’s Spirit of Public Service Award, two U.S. Department of State Expeditionary Service Awards, three Superior Honor Awards, two Meritorious Awards, NATO’s Public Service Award and the U.S. Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.
As a social work undergraduate at EKU, Dr. Alexander was a Fulbright scholar in India, interning with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata – igniting her love of global humanitarian affairs. She currently serves as a trustee on EKU’s Foundation Board and on the International Affairs Advisory Commission in Lexington. She has represented the U.S. as an election observer in North Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Belarus, and serves as an election sheriff in Lexington, She is on the board of both the Moondance Foundation and the Christian-Muslim Dialogue, and volunteers for God’s Pantry and the Lexington Habitat for Humanity. In her spare time, she is developing her photography and hopes to write and teach.