Former Assistant Chief of Protocol for San Francisco
Palo Alto, CA


Catherine Debs is the former assistant chief of protocol for San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Charlotte Maillard Shultz in the Office of Protocol. Although her mother belonged to the second class of women admitted to Stanford, and her father was assistant to Graduate School of Business Dean Arbuckle, Catherine‘s own educational path deviated significantly from her parents.

Catherine’s sense of adventure and desire to “learn through experience ” has been a reoccurring theme throughout her life. Her first year of college was spent at the University of Grenoble, France. After leaving Grenoble, she embarked on a life-changing journey, driving from France to India. Witnessing the flavor of all these countries was yet another form of education – all sorts of passions and interests came alive for Catherine. In her late 20s, she launched and managed her own vineyard in North Carolina in collaboration with a local university. Catherine also had a notable career in marketing and commercial development. She also studied at the University of California, Berkeley.

Fellow: Jerome (John) Debs