Family Violence Appellate Project’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah Son as the organization’s new Executive Director. She begins the role effective February 6, 2023.
Deborah brings over fifteen years of experience in domestic violence advocacy, organizational leadership, and the nonprofit sector. She has co-authored advocacy letters and organized broad-scale grassroots efforts to raise attention for requests to appeal high-profile court decisions as they pertain the health of children, individuals, and families, leading awareness initiatives to leverage communications platforms and digital campaigns to bring light to the necessity of appealing dangerous cases. Additionally, Deborah has served as a nationally-recognized domestic violence trainer, technical assistance provider, and advocate; and has contributed to the design and implementation of dozens of psychosocial programs across the nation that support survivors and their communities.
“Much of my service and advocacy career has been dedicated to ending gender-based violence, advancing equitable care, and advocating for families to have the resources they need to thrive,” said Deborah Son. “I have committed myself to service in these issue areas to further combat the racism and institutional marginalization that often acts in direct barrier to those who need care the most. These passions are colored by my own lived experiences as a daughter of immigrants, a survivor of gender-based violence, and a witness to domestic violence in my own community.”
Most recently, Deborah served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter (NASW-CA). At NASW-CA, Deborah stabilized the organization, generated transformative organizational change that embraced accountability and diversity, and ensured growth.
Prior to this, Deborah served the California Alliance of Child and Family Services as Director of Strategic Initiatives, using her skills in strategic planning and program growth to secure new revenue sources and build DEI frameworks and programs. Deborah also served as the Director of Policy and Strategy at Lincoln, where she raised the capacity of direct service providers so they could participate in legislative and systems changes that strengthened support for children and families. As Program Manager at Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Deborah traveled nationally and consulted on domestic violence homicide. It was her work at STAND! For Families Free of Violence (STAND!) and numerous other domestic violence and rape crisis organizations in the Bay Area, however, that kindled and cultivated her love for social and gender justice work.
“We are very excited to have Deborah join FVAP,” said Maricela Rios-Faust, Board President. “Her strong leadership abilities, deep understanding of gender-based violence, and passion for social justice are essential in leading FVAP during this next chapter.”
“I am thrilled that Deborah is joining FVAP,” said outgoing Executive Director and co-founder Erin Smith. “I have the utmost confidence in Deborah’s leadership and her passion for FVAP’s mission and the survivors we serve, and I believe she is the right person to lead FVAP into its next phase.” Erin will stay on with FVAP through February 28, providing transition support to Deborah. “On behalf of all the abuse survivors who have been helped by FVAP in the 11 years since its founding, the Board is immensely grateful to Erin for co-founding the organization, for stewarding it to become the recognized leader on legal issues that it is today, and for her years of service and hard work on behalf of survivors,” said Rios-Faust. “The Board appreciates Erin’s willingness to provide a smooth transition for Deborah and the organization.”
For more information about FVAP, visit www.fvaplaw.org.