Debra Thorpe is senior vice president, and president of Kelly Professional & Industrial. Named to her current position in 2020, Deb brings deep industry expertise and extensive leadership experience to her role at Kelly. She is focused on driving profitable growth and increased specialization in the company’s largest, longest-standing portfolio that includes the office professional, finance, contact center and light industrial business in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Previously, Deb was senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Operations, and prior to that senior vice president of Operations, Global Talent Solutions (GTS) Talent Fulfillment, responsible for the operations of Kelly’s large account staffing, CWO, RPO and PPO practices for the Americas and EMEA. In this role, she directed centralized recruiting in addition to a team of Integrated Operations leaders, delivering services to many of Kelly’s largest clients.
A hands-on leader focused on building diverse, high-performing teams, Deb has also served in other critical executive positions at Kelly, including head of Global Services, vice president of Southwest Sector staffing operations, and vice president of IT staffing. She joined Kelly in 2007 from Bartech Technical Services and began her career as an engineer with General Motors.
With her industrial engineering background and a passion for problem solving, Deb leverages data and analytics to help organizations make the most informed operational decisions. She encourages employers to think creatively about workforce planning and embrace the value of all workers and work styles. Deb deeply understands the staffing challenges organizations face and makes strategic recommendations to help them prepare for the future of work.
In 2018, Deb was named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing list, and was most recently recognized by SIA as one of the most influential people in the staffing industry. Additionally, she has been instrumental in supporting the rise of future leaders at Kelly as a founding member of the company’s internal business resource group, Leadership in Action. The group is dedicated to helping prepare and develop leaders in the global marketplace.
Deb holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. She serves on the Board of Directors for HAVEN, a nationally recognized nonprofit that promotes violence-free homes and communities, and helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. At the end of the day, it’s Deb’s personal mission to lead with a positive approach and inspire continuous learning with every interaction.