MADD Selects Debbie Weir as CEO
Anna Duerr, MADD
DALLAS – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) today announced the selection of Debbie Weir as the organization's Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Weir has been serving as Acting CEO since early January. She became MADD's Chief Operating Officer in December 2005.
"If there was ever a case of the right person at the right time, this is it," said Rob Strassburger, MADD's National Board Chairman, who made the announcement. "Debbie Weir understands every aspect of MADD, including what has made us successful and given us strong support from the American people. Most importantly, she understands the culture and heritage of this unique safety advocacy organization, which was built by victims of the preventable crime of drunk driving."
Weir joined MADD in 2002 as leader of Victim Services, which provides support and guidance to MADD affiliates and drunk driving victims around the country. Under her stewardship, MADD served 60,000 victims and survivors in 2010 — an average of one victim every nine minutes — while also launching a live support line (1-877-MADD-HELP) with specialists available 24-hours-a-day to provide emotional support.
As COO, Weir oversaw field operations, fundraising, volunteer and program development, in addition to victim advocacy and support.
Before joining MADD, Weir worked for 15 years in the nonprofit hospice field, beginning as a medical social worker specializing in grief counseling. She was director of St. Paul Hospice in Dallas from 1995 until 2002. During that time, she developed an expansive pediatric hospice program serving terminally-ill children and their families.
Weir holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia and a master's degree in social work from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is married with two sons and resides in the Dallas area.
"I am honored by the opportunity to lead MADD, which has achieved so much in changing the way our country looks at traffic fatality and injury prevention by showing that there are real people behind the statistics,” Weir said. "With a focus on advocating for proven data-based countermeasures, our staff and volunteers, some of whom are victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes, have helped save hundreds of thousands of lives, and our on-going Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and underage drinking prevention programs will help us save even more lives."
"Debbie knows the heart and soul of what makes MADD work," said MADD National President Jan Withers, who lost a 15-year-old daughter in a drunk driving/underage drinking crash and serves as the organization's principal spokesperson. "Her compassion and dedication to victims and to the pursuit of eliminating drunk driving fatalities are a perfect fit."
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
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