Debby Thomas

Debby Thomas, PhD

Assistant Professor of Management


Office: Hoover 120

Debby Thomas joined George Fox in 2016 as an assistant professor of management. Prior to her arrival, she served as a missionary in Rwanda, Africa starting in 1995. In Rwanda Debby started a holistic community development program and started several small businesses. She has also taught elementary and middle school, lead multiple efforts in Rwanda, and is a corporate management trainer. Debby holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership (2015), a master's degree in global leadership (2009), and her bachelor's degree is in elementary education and international studies (1994).

In Debby's free time she enjoys cooking, taking long walks, nature, and spending quality time with her family. Debby lives in Newberg with her husband, David, and has four children, Bree, Aren, Gwen and Alandra.


Professor Thomas Teaches:

  •  Leading and Managing People
  •  Organizational Behavior
  •  Senior EXIT Class (LIBA 400)
  •  Principles of Management
  • Personal and Organizational Effectiveness (MBA)
  • Foundations of Management and Leadership (DBA)


  • PhD, Regent University, Virginia - Organizational Leadership
  • MA, Fuller Theological Seminary,CA - Global Leadership 
  • BA, George Fox University - Elementary Education and International Studies 

Research Interests

  •  Empowering leadership
  •  Empowering leadership in cross-cultural contexts
  •  Women in leadership
  •  Quaker practices and their effects on women leaders historically and in contemporary society
  •  Leadership styles for international development

Selected Publications/Presentations

  • Participation in and group presentation on Experiential Based Learning at the Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference, 2017.
  • Participation in the ILA Leadership Education Academy, 2017.
  • Thomas, D. (2017). Giving Voice: How Quaker methods can support women’s voice into organizational decisions. Presentation at International Leadership Academy (ILA) Women in Leadership Conference.
  • George Fox University invited as a special speaker to: multiple Sr. Capstone classes (LACI), Cross-Cultural Christian Outreach, Global Business, International Business, History and Doctrine of Friends, Spiritual Formation, 2015.
  • Chapel speaker at George Fox University: Our Identity as Children of Light.
  • 2015 Thomas, D. (2015). The moderating effects of power distance and collectivism on empowering leadership and psychological empowerment and self-leadership in international development organizations (Dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.
  • Thomas, D. (2014). Comparison of Rwandan and American followership styles. Presentation at International Leadership Academy (ILA) pre-conference on followership. Thomas, D. (2014).
  • Comparison of Rwandan and American followership styles. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(4), 124-135. doi:10.12806/V13/I4/C13 Thomas, D. (2014).
  • Learning curve in Rwanda: A long journey of transformation. Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 50(2), 222-225. Thomas, D. (2014). Daniel as an example of exceptional cross-cultural leadership.
  • Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, 6(1), 58–66. Thomas, D. (2014).
  • Love as a replacement for fear in the workplace. Emerging Leadership Journeys 7(1), 27–33.