Deborah Hicks-Rogoff was raised in a small Appalachian town in North Carolina. Educated in public schools, she earned a doctorate in Education and Human Development from Harvard University in 1988. She has been a teacher, researcher and writer for over two decades, focusing on children in America’s poor and working-class communities. A well-known voice in the education community for her writings about literacy, Hicks-Rogoff has published two books on educational research, along with numerous journal and magazine articles. Her most recent book is a memoir about her teaching experiences in an Appalachian neighborhood in Cincinnati: The Road Out: A Teacher’s Odyssey in Poor America.
Hicks-Rogoff heads a Bass Connections project on education and economic inequality in Appalachia. She's also the founder and executive director of the Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education (PAGE), a partnership between Duke's Program in Education, Madison County Public Schools, and the communities of Spring Creek, Hot Springs, and Laurel, North Carolina that creates opportunities for educational enrichment for young women through mentorship and summer programming.