Speakers and Chairs Bios

Platzhalter Speakers
Debra France

Leadership Development and Learning Design,
W.L. Gore


Dr. Debra France drives leadership development and organizational research at W. L. Gore & Associates.  
Since it was founded in 1958, the company has operated as a lattice organization to optimize its ability to innovate.  Debra helps teams articulate Gore’s organic processes for developing leaders and for fostering innovation, so this wisdom can be embedded into the design of learning experiences and organizational processes.

For more than two decades Debra has led design teams that provide learning analysis and support for technologists and leaders.  She previously served as the Learning Leader for Barnes & Noble Corporate; for SEMATECH, the semiconductor manufacturing research consortium; and for Executive and Management Development at Dell Computer.  She earned master’s degrees in Instructional Technology and Curriculum & Instruction from Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin; and her doctorate from Columbia University in Leadership and Organizational Learning with her dissertation study focused on cultural practices that create conducive environments for innovators.  

Debra is an adjunct lecturer on Strategic Thinking at Columbia University and a featured speaker on Innovation Practices in Adaptive Organizations for Association for Talent Development, Human Capital Institute, and Executive Corporate Learning Forum.