Our Board

Deepa Biswas Willingham


Deepa Willingham, a naturalized citizen of the United States, was born and brought up in Kolkata, India where she obtained her primary and secondary education under the stewardship of Mother Teresa, who was her teacher. Following an undergraduate degree from the University of Calcutta she came to the United State to pursue Masters and Ph.D. degrees.

Ms. Willingham’s professional life was spent in health-care management, education, and entrepreneurship. Currently, however, most of Ms. Willingham’s time and personal resources are spent in the non-profit sector. She is an active Rotarian and she is the Founder/Chair of PACE Universal. When asked why Ms. Willingham started this school for girls in the country of her birth, she answers, “It is the fulfillment of a life-long dream…to give back the gift of education, particularly to girls.”

She has served on the Boards of Corner Stone House of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Federal Credit Union, Santa Barbara Swim Club, Santa Barbara Rehab Institute, and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital.

Ms. Willingham is the winner of many humanitarian awards including Santa Barbara’s ‘Gutsy Gals You Inspire Me Award’ in 2013; “Women of Action” Honoree at the White House in 2014, Time Now – Global Amazing Indian citation from the Times of India in 2015; one of three “Inspiring Women of Action” at World Bank’s celebration of International Women’s Day in Washington DC, 2016 and the Peace Hero by United Nations Association – Santa Barbara Tri-Counties Chapter, 2018.