Deborah DugansqDeborah Dugan:  Pushing the Boundaries Using Social Media for Social Good, Fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Chief Executive Officer, (RED)
Twitter: @debdugan

Bio: Deborah Dugan is the Chief Executive Officer of (RED). (RED) was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and consumers to help fight AIDS in Africa. (RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands, such as Apple, Starbucks and Converse, who contribute profits from sales of (RED)-branded products and services to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Deborah joined (RED) in 2011, and under her leadership (RED) has welcomed global partners such as The Coca-Cola Company, SAP, and Latin America’s major mobile carriers Claro and Telcel. With Deborah at the helm, (RED) has continuously pushed the boundaries for how social media is used for social good. In 2011 (RED) was recognized as the first cause to have reached over 1 million on both Facebook and Twitter, and recently became the first ever non-profi to launch a Global Filter on Snapchat in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, raising $3 million in one day. Previous roles include President of Disney Publishing Worldwide; Senior Advisor, Tribeca Enterprises; CEO, Entertainment Rights; and Executive Vice President, EMI Records. Currently Co-chair of The Moth, an organization dedicated to the art of storytelling.

Innovating in Field of Work:

  • Connects ‘corporates’ and ‘creatives’ to generate social impact in big and bold ways
  • At (RED) she works with iconic brands and organizations to develop branded products and services, which when purchased trigger a corporate donation. Contributions invested primarily in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, focusing on countries with high prevalence of mother-to-child HIV transmission


  • Since taking the reins at (RED) she has brought large donors such as Coca-Cola, Bank of America, SAP and Latin America mobile carriers Claro and Telcel into the RED family
  • Increased (RED) fundraising to $350MM and impacted 70 million lives
  • Recently became first ever nonprofit to launch Global Filter on Snapchat, in partnership with Gates Foundation, raising $3 million in one day
  • Named in Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ Issue for Social Entrepreneurism
  • ‘Disruptive Innovation’ Fellow
  • At Disney Publishing, oversaw business that generated $1.8 billion in global retail sales, publishing 275 magazines and more than 4000 new book titles

Role Model:

  • Champions women and their leadership and development
  • Most (RED) employees are women
  • Created flexible, family friendly work environment

Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:

  • Looks for ways to disrupt the philanthropic model
  • Seeks new ways to engage brands and peoples in the AIDS fight
  • (RED) recognized as first cause to have reached 1 million on both Facebook and Twitter

“Deborah…has created a role and work environment that is not the norm—though it should be. She allows me to have the flexibility I want and need to be close to my family who live in other parts of the world.”