The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Deborah Wright

Share on Social Media

Information about Deborah Wright

Profile image of Deborah Wright

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Bank Chairman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Salmon
Favorite Food:
Indian (Chicken And Rice)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
Is That Right?

Birthplace

Born:
1/30/1958
Birth Location:
Bennetsville, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Bank Chairman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Salmon
Favorite Food:
Indian (Chicken And Rice)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
Is That Right?

Birthplace

Born:
1/30/1958
Birth Location:
Bennetsville
See how Deborah Wright is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Bank chairman Deborah C. Wright was born in 1958, in Bennetsville, South Carolina to Harry C. Wright. Wright received her B.A. degree from Radcliffe College and earned a joint M.B.A and J.D. degree from Harvard University’s School of Business and School of Law.

After college, Wright worked as an associate in corporate finance at First Boston Bank. Finding the position unsatisfying, Wright left the bank in 1987 to take a position as the director of marketing for a building project in Harlem for The New York City Partnership, a business advocacy group in New York that promotes affordable-home ownership. In 1992, New York City Mayor David Dinkins appointed Wright to the New York City Housing Authority Board. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani promoted her Commissioner for Housing Preservation and Development in 1994. From 1996 through 1999, Wright served as the director for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, a post that would give her tremendous experience in bringing together community, civic, and private-sector interests to revitalize blighted urban areas. In 1999, Wright was named chief executive officer of Carver Bancorp, the parent company of Carver Federal Savings Bank and the largest African American-owned financial institution in the United States. Wright was chosen for her talents in coalition-building among business, government, and community leaders. Wright immediately began a successful program to revitalize Carver's balance sheet and made it a key player in the rising economic fortunes of Harlem. In 2005, Wright was named chairman of Carver Federal Savings Bank.

Wright is a member of the board of directors of Time Warner and Kraft Foods. She is a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Wright was honored as "Community Banker of the Year" in 2003 by The American Banker, the financial industry's daily newspaper. She is also involved in the missionary activities of the American Baptist Churches.

See how Deborah Wright is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Wright's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright talks about segregation in Bennettsville, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright talks about her relationships with her paternal relatives
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright talks about her father's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright recalls her transition to the all-white Murchison School in Bennettsville, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright talks about her mother's experiences as a minister's wife, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright talks about her mother's experiences as a minister's wife, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Deborah Wright describes her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Deborah Wright describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright describes her community in Bennettsville, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright lists her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright talks about her father's career as a pastor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright describes her early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright talks about the Murchison School in Bennettsville, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright remembers her family's move to Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright remembers organizing a walk out after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Deborah Wright recalls her experiences of school desegregation in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright remembers the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright recalls her father's role in the desegregation of the Murchison School in Bennettsville, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright talks about her experiences of school desegregation in South Carolina and Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright describes the demographics of the Oak Cliff community in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright remembers her social activities at David W. Carter High School in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright describes the effects of school desegregation in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright talks about her early influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright remembers her college applications
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright remembers her decision to attend Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Deborah Wright recalls her introduction to racial discrimination in the North
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright describes the support from her paternal aunt, Marian Wright Edelman
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright talks about her transition to Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright talks about the black lunch table at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright remembers meeting Strauss Zelnick
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright talks about the black experience at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright remembers her social activities at Radcliffe College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright recalls the impact of attending Radcliffe College on her home life in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright remembers her siblings' college graduations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright recalls how she came to study at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright describes her influences at the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright remembers the mentorship of Professor Malcolm S. Salter
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright recalls her challenges at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright describes her summer internship during her time at the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright talks about her experiences as an African American woman at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright remembers her transition from law to investment banking
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright recalls her initial struggles with investment banking
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright remembers how she came to join the Partnership for New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright describes her role at the Partnership for New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright describes the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright recalls her appointment to the New York City Planning Commission
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright describes her work at the New York City Housing Authority, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright describes her work at the New York City Housing Authority, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright remembers the scandals surrounding her predecessor at the New York City Housing Authority
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright describes her role at the New York City Housing Authority
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright recalls her appointment as the deputy housing commissioner of New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright reflects upon her achievements in the housing sector
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright remembers working for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright recalls the resistance of New York City's Legal Aid Society
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright remembers her support from New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright remembers joining the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright talks about the redevelopment of New York City's Harlem neighborhood, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright talks about the redevelopment of New York City's Harlem neighborhood, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright remembers negotiating with the community in New York City's Harlem neighborhood
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright remembers the financial problems at Carver Bancorp, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright recalls her transition to Carver Bancorp, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright describes her strategy as the CEO of Carver Bancorp, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Deborah Wright remembers appointing a new board at Carver Bancorp, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Deborah Wright describes the new direction of Carver Bancorp, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Deborah Wright talks about the role of Carver Bancorp, Inc. in New York City's Harlem neighborhood
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Deborah Wright talks about Robert L. Johnson's strategy for black banking
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Deborah Wright remembers adopting her daughter
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Deborah Wright reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Deborah Wright describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Deborah Wright reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Deborah Wright talks about the importance of institutions in the African American community