Deborah Lourenço

Coordinator, Center for Excellence and innovation in Educational Policies (CEIPE)


Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Deborah Lourenço is a specialist in public policies for education. Having studied most of her life at Brazilian public schools, she went on to become the first person in her family to receive a higher education degree. A Lemann fellow, Deborah holds an M.A. in International and Comparative Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in Government from Smith College. Having experimented the transformative effect of education, Deborah aspires for a future in which every Brazilian student, regardless of class, race or region, can have access to a transformative quality education.

This aspiration takes shape in Deborah’s career, revealing a strong focus on equity and social justice applied to education. She currently works at Fundação Getulio Vargas as a coordinator in the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Educational Policies (CEIPE), a think-and-do tank focused on improving education policy management through training, policy evaluation, and making research more accessible to decision-makers. She also continues to be involved, as a volunteer, with the work she started as a coordinator for the U.S. Department of State Opportunity Funds program in Rio. Through the program and beyond it, Deborah mentors and supports Black underprivileged Brazilian students who wish to pursue educational opportunities abroad. Before working at CEIPE, she served as a consultant for the Ministry of Education, an opportunity that allowed her to deepen her understanding of policy making and implementation in Rio de Janeiro’s State Department of Education.