Deborah Gray-Young

Executive Coach and Strategic Advisor

Deborah Gray-Young is a consultant, strategic advisor, and ICF-certified coach helping mature and emerging executives clarify their priorities and define move-forward strategies for successful results. She is a former award-winning marketing communications professional with over three decades leading high-performing strategic communications planning and investment teams on  Fortune 500 brands. Over the course of her career, she has worked on several Fortune 500  brands including Toyota, Walmart, McDonald’s, General Mills, and Miller Brewing.  

Deborah is the former chairperson of the 4 A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies)  Multicultural Media Committee. She is an inaugural appointee to Nielsen’s external African  American Advisory Council and served 11 years. In that role, along with colleagues of the  Latino and Asian Pacific Islander councils, Deborah provided counsel to the CEO, CDO and  Presidents of business units on workforce recruitment and retention of ethnic and racially diverse associates. She was also part of the team that helped establish Nielsen’s Chief Diversity Office and Nielsen’s Supplier Diversity program. Nielsen is a leading market research firm in the advertising industry.  

As a trailblazer in the advertising industry and SME in multicultural audiences, Deborah chose professional coaching as a second career to help ethnically diverse professionals better understand and navigate their environments. Deborah’s core values are fairness, integrity,  respect, and excellence. Therefore, Cultural Intelligence is a high value for Deborah and a  cornerstone of her coaching philosophy. She possesses an innate and respectful curiosity for all cultures and backgrounds. She works with professionals in underrepresented and marginalized groups within global corporations. She also works with those who lead diverse teams to help them better understand the cultural dynamics that affect team members individually and the organization as a whole.  

Deborah is committed to helping her clients increase their self-awareness so that they can, in turn, become more aware of the influence and impact they have on their world and beyond. She has been retained by Fortune 500 corporations and non-profit organizations to conduct workshops and training, as well as assist senior and emerging executive women in strengthening their political savvy and building relationships with key stakeholders. 

A lifelong learner, she is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), the governing body of professional coaching, and served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago chapter. She holds the PCC certification from the ICF. Deborah also serves as a mentor coach for the Black  Career Women’s Network.

“My first meeting with Deborah was a breath of fresh air. She is flexible and meets me where I  am for each session. The need can change from week to week. I have a greater awareness of my strengths and the value I bring to the organization. I’m good at what I do. I brag about my  coaching experience and use some of what I’ve learned to help my peers.”

–Senior Product  Service Owner, Financial Services, MD