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Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight

Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

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Leigh Anne Taylor Knight is a resourceful, future-focused leader who currently serves The DeBruce Foundation in Kansas City as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. The Foundation’s mission is to expand pathways to economic growth and opportunity. It seeks to help people discover what they want to do and what they’re good at doing, to open more career possibilities for the future of work.

Dr. Taylor Knight is driven to lead the leveraging of resources across sectors for innovative learning, rigorous research, and community collaboration in order to improve economic development and the quality of life. A teacher at heart, Leigh Anne has also served as a K-12 assistant superintendent, advised learning institutions across the nation, and led a bi-state consortium providing powerful tools for data-driven educational research to inform practice and policy.

Bringing together stakeholders to activate synergistic solutions is a favorite expertise. She values identifying talents and strengths in others, coaching them to improve their capabilities, and finding roles in which each can maximize one’s potential to result in optimal team success. Advocating for and executing programs where the voices of young people resonate to make a difference are her true passion.

Active on a variety of boards across her career, she currently serves on Mizzou Alumni Association Governing Board, Advisory Board to University of Kansas-Edwards, Board of Trustees for University of Missouri-Kansas City, ExCPT Certification Governing Board of the National Healthcare Association and Startland. In addition, she enjoys being engaged in an advisory role to boards for Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation, KC Stem Alliance, LeanLab, LaunchCode, KU Workforce Development, and Griffiths Leadership Society.

After graduating from University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Secondary Education, Leigh Anne earned her Education Specialist’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her doctorate from the University of Kansas in Education Policy and Leadership.


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