Dr. Deborah Antoine
Dr. Deborah Antoine
Organization: Women's Sports Foundation

Dr. Antoine became CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation in 2017. Dr. Antoine has successfully led the growth and sustainability of five nonprofit organizations: the HOPE Program, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Per Scholas, PBS Channel Thirteen, and New York Junior Tennis and Learning.

In 2010, Dr. Antoine joined New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) as President and CEO, responsible for the strategic direction and operation of the nation’s largest tennis and education program, serving 75,000 children in New York City’s five boroughs. With 550 paid employees, NYJTL enjoyed six consecutive years of budget surpluses under Dr. Antoine’s stewardship. During her tenure, Dr. Antoine, who holds a Ph.D. in education from Columbia University, NYJTL changed its name from New York Junior Tennis “League” to New York Junior Tennis & “Learning,” communicating the organization’s emphasis on providing important out-of-school educational services in addition to tennis instruction, which also involved a significant expansion and quality improvement of city-wide after school programs.  In addition, Dr. Antoine oversaw the recently completed $26.5 million capital campaign in Partnership with New York City to build NYJTL’s Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning, the flagship home in the Bronx for the 45-year-old nonprofit.

Dr. Antoine began her career teaching English and overseeing curriculum development in public schools before embarking on her first entrepreneurial nonprofit effort in 1984, founding The HOPE Program, an employment training program for homeless men and women, which she led as President for a decade.

In 2015, Dr. Antoine was the recipient of the Bronx Leadership Award for Youth Advocacy presented by Mercy College.  She was also recognized as “CEO of Distinction” by Smart CEO magazine and awarded the “Inaugural Founders Award” by The HOPE Program. An avid tennis player, Dr. Antoine holds a top-10 USTA national singles ranking in her age group. She was named the USTA Eastern Section “Woman of the Year” in 2013.

Dr. Antoine graduated with a B.S. in Education from the University of Massachusetts and also earned an M.A. in Psychology from Salve Regina University and Ph.D. in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.