Debbie Weekes-Bernard became Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement in November 2018.
Debbie works to improve Londoners’ life chances and to boost social integration and community voice across the Mayor’s programmes. She leads the promotion of equalities and active citizenship across London, and makes sure City Hall actively seeks to tackle poverty for Londoners across all groups.
Debbie joined the mayoral team from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation where she led the organisation’s work on poverty and ethnicity with additional areas of expertise on labour markets, education, lone parents, young people and society. Prior to this Debbie worked at the Runnymede Trust as Head of Research, running their work on inclusive curriculum development, education attainment gaps and school exclusion as well as work on community cohesion, race and criminal justice and youth transitions. She also worked as a lecturer on social psychology and criminology, teaching students in both the further education and higher education sector.
Alongside professional work, Debbie has a longstanding professional and personal interest in social justice, social mobility and community engagement. Debbie is a trustee of the Equality and Diversity Forum and has sat on a number of other influential panels and working parties including the Poverty Commissions for both the National Union of Students and the London borough of Lewisham and is a member of the British Journal of Sociology of Education Editorial Board. She has also served locally as a chair of governors for two federated primary schools in East London.
Debbie has a PhD in psychology and sociology and lives in Waltham Forest.