Debra Des Vignes brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to The West Foundation. As the organization’s Program and Communications Officer, Debra is responsible for developing and supporting partnerships with constituent organizations and moving beneficiaries out of abject poverty and into self-sufficiency.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Des Vignes earned her B.A. in Political Science from California State University Northridge. She got her start as an apprentice at ABC-7 in Los Angeles and went on to pursue a decade-long career as a TV journalist.
After an extended trip to Antigua, Guatemala in 2010, Debra worked alongside an NGO to construct homes and provide educational support to one of the world’s poorest regions, and she felt compelled to do more. She returned the following year to present a financial donation to the NGO from the Rotary Club of Indianapolis where served on its board of directors and continued on-the-ground volunteer work.
In 2011, she moved to Indianapolis to serve as the inaugural VP of Communications for the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. Debra has continued to make a local impact. In 2017, she founded the Indiana Prison Writers Workshop, a 501(3)c whose mission is to improve the lives of Indiana offenders through creative writing and expression. These experiences allowed Des Vignes to develop a wide set of skills in curriculum development, grant writing, project management, public relations, and marketing. She also worked in journalism as a TV news reporter in various markets. All of these make her a welcome addition to the West Foundation team.
Des Vignes has also served on several Indianapolis-area boards including the Indiana Writers Center, Timmy Global Health, and the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.