As Executive Director of the Modlin Center for the Arts, Deborah Sommers is responsible for the 45-event Great Performances Series, four main stage productions by the University's theatre and dance department and the University Players and Dancers, 30 musical performances in the Department of Music's Free Concert Series, plus community events and performances throughout the year. Sommers also directs and teaches Richmond's arts management program and works with faculty across the disciplines to design academic components that coordinate with the Modlin Center's artistic programming.
Prior to joining the Modlin Center, Sommers was director of programming at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts. Since 1992 Sommers has produced an 80-event season of national and international artists that attracts patrons from across the New York area. She also lead a K–12 outreach program touching 14,000 students with long- and short-term artist residencies in public schools, supervised an internship program for university students, and oversaw a children's theatre summer camp and adult summer festival chorus.
Before joining the Quick Center, Sommers was company administrator of the Performing Arts Center at the State University of New York at Purchase, coordinating the professional season programming, artists, and residencies. She also worked for the PepsiCo Summerfare Festival. A graduate of Hunter College with a bachelor's degree in music and education, Sommers subsequently earned both an M.B.A. and doctor of jurisprudence from Pace University. She is admitted to the New York and Connecticut bars and has sat on several boards and committees, including the United Nations Development Fund for Women USA-Connecticut Chapter, Fairfield Arts Council, and Connecticut Dance Alliance.