Dr. Deborah Antoine
Chief Executive Officer
The Women’s Sports Foundation is dedicated to providing safe and equitable sports opportunities so that all girls receive the significant health, education and leadership benefits sports provide both on and off the field.
Designing, developing, and implementing programs to improve the lives of underserved children and adults has been the focus of Dr. Deborah Antoine’s career as a nonprofit executive spanning four decades as an educator, strategic planner, team builder and entrepreneur.
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.
From 2003 to 2010, Dr. Antoine served for seven years as Senior Vice President at Channel 13, the flagship PBS station of the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, serving as a spokesperson on behalf of public television, and overseeing all development efforts, raising $35 million annually. She served as the inaugural President and CEO of Per Scholas, now in its 21st year, where she established a nationally-recognized career training program for disadvantaged adults, supported by a broad spectrum of foundation and industry partners.
Prior to establishing Per Scholas, Dr. Antoine was Senior Vice President of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (1992-98), where she established the SOBRO Center for Career Development for disadvantaged adults and youth.
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.
Dr. Antoine and her husband, Dr. Clarel Antoine, reside in Englewood, NJ. She is the proud mother of three daughters and has four grandchildren.