Debra Schifrin designs and leads corporate workshops on leadership, communication, collaboration, agility, storytelling, and creativity. At Stanford Graduate School of Business, she co-designed, piloted and teaches the school’s first improv-based MBA management course. The course empowers students to become better leaders, managers, and team members. It is one of the only such MBA courses in the world. She is co-creating and teaching a new MBA course in Spring 2021,"Creativity and the Business Ecosystem." Debra has written and published over 80 Stanford and Harvard business cases, which are taught in MBA classes at the GSB and at other business schools. The topics of her business cases include strategy; marketing; product and social innovation; humor; and storytelling.

Before joining Stanford, Debra spent 11 years as a reporter, director and producer for National Public Radio and Marketplace. She produced thousands of breaking news and feature stories for the NPR flagship news program All Things Considered and directed the broadcast. Her stories and commentaries aired on All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace. A long-time actor and improvisor, Debra performs most weekends in San Francisco in many formats, including improvised musicals and improvised Star Trek.

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Graduate School of Business

Professional Education

  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, English Literature
  • MBA, Harvard Business School

2023-24 Courses