Leadership Consultant/Instructor, Pal’s BEI

Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning

East Tennessee State University

Johnson City TN  37614


 Dr. Harley is considered to be an expert on leadership development in all workplace sectors.  Personal excellence through leadership, service and civic engagement are personal passions.  She has served as a leadership consultant to numerous businesses, universities, K-12, government, and nonprofit organizations. She is the author of Developing Human Service Leaders, SAGE, 2016.

As the Associate Professor in Education Foundations and director of the Minor in Leadership Studies at East Tennessee State University, she develops curriculum for the minor in Leadership Studies, Community Leadership Certificate, other master’s programs and teaches the capstone leadership course.  She served as part of the team that developed the on-line master’s in strategic leadership for the state of Tennessee.

Dr. Harley is a facilitator/mentor and trainer for the Franklin Covey Organization.  She is certified to teach many Franklin Covey courses including: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; 5 Choices for Extraordinary Productivity; 7 Habits for Teens; 7 Habits for Managers;  Working at the Speed of Trust; Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results. She is a certified Strengths Finder facilitator.

She is a leadership consultant and instructor for Pal’s Business Excellence Institute (BEI). She helps organizations create/enhance programs that develop leaders at all levels of the organization thereby enabling quality team work, increased employee engagement, relevant performance assessments and feedback, and bench-strength for the leadership team. Pal’s BEI teaches proven world-class performance excellence and management practices to organizations all over the country.  Pal’s Sudden Service is the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner, the Nation’s highest honor for excellence in management, and twice the Level 4 Excellence winner (highest level) of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (State of Tennessee Quality Award). She served as the leadership coach for the 2011National Baldrige winner K & N Management.

She is active in the community serving as an examiner for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. She developed performance assessment outcome measures for nonprofits. She has also served as a board or task force leader for the Girl Scouts, Coalition for Kids, Second Harvest Food Bank, Johnson City/Washington County Community Youth Leadership Program, Tennessee Campus Compact and several regional economic development initiatives.

Deborah holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University, a master’s in counseling and a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of South Florida.