Deborah Lauter, a leading civil and human rights activist, has been named executive director of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), based in Manhattan.
Lauter brings a distinguished career in nonprofit and government service. In 2019, she was appointed to create and lead the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, the first of its kind in the U.S.
Prior to that, she served in leadership positions at the Anti-Defamation League for 18 years, including as senior vice president, where she oversaw the organization’s programs on civil rights as well as Holocaust and anti-bias education.
“We are delighted that Deborah will join TOLI as executive director,” said Mark Berez, TOLI president.
“She brings passion, commitment and decades of experience to support our mission of Holocaust education for teachers and students. Deborah will provide strategic vision and leadership to develop and grow our programs in the coming years.”
“I am honored and excited to lead TOLI at a time when there is a vital need for its programs,” Lauter said. “Holocaust education requires more than teaching historical facts; educators need the skills and a pedagogy to make lessons relevant to today’s students. At a time when knowledge of the Holocaust is diminishing and antisemitism, extremism and polarization are rising, I can think of no more important work for this next chapter of my career.”
A native Californian who lived for a number of years in Atlanta, Lauter now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she is active in civic affairs.