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“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” To paraphrase this favorite quote of Deborah Carstens’, she endeavors to be part of the solution to the problem of too few American women who participate in United States government.

Deb is a very genteel woman who accomplishes a great deal in her quiet, feminine style. She reports that “The US ranks 60th in the world of the percentage of women as political leaders. Third World countries have a higher percentage of women in their governments than we have.” To address this discrepancy, she serves on the national Board of Directors for The WISH List, headquartered in Washington, DC. This organization identifies, trains, and raises funds for pro-choice Republican women candidates at all levels of government. A member since 1996, Deb is responsible for propelling Arizona into the fastest-growing chapter of WISH (Women In Senate and House) in the United States. Their web site is She says that the pooled money from membership fees helps train and elect more women into political office.

Deb is the creator and producer of the PowerCouples Luncheon Series, which showcases successful Arizonans as role models for up & coming young professionals. At her alma mater, San Diego State University, Deb was instrumental in the development and execution of a women’s political training program, “Women in Politics: Electing to Lead”. This program will be hosted by the Departments of Political Science and Women’s Studies on campus this month, March 2005. She also serves on the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Deb Carstens grew up in a Republican family in San Diego, California. As a student at San Diego State she had the life-changing experience of taking several women’s studies courses. She can trace her passion for politics to this time, becoming a self-avowed “political junkie”. Deb lived for fifteen years in Colorado, but is very pleased to make Phoenix her new home, citing the beautiful weather where she can always wear sandals (!) and where she enjoys being part of a friendly, capital city.

Before her recent retirement, Deb was co-owner and Director of Sales & Marketing for Carstens Ranch Properties, a privately held land development company. She was in charge of creating the plan and broker liaisons resulting in the successful marketing and sales of 35,000 acres of high-end ranch land.

Her Deborah G. Carstens Trust has donor-advised funds or annuities with the Arizona Foundation for Women, the Arizona Community Foundation, the Women’s Studies Department of San Diego State University, and the National Trust for Historical Preservation.

Deb’s recent awards include being the 2004 Alumna of the Year at San Diego State University, College of Arts and Letters. She was a 2004 Finalist for the ATHENA award of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. She also earned the ‘Jeanne Linn Herberger’ Award from Arizona Women Education & Employment, and was the Business Winner from the YWCA Tribute to Women.

Her current passions are world travel, beautiful architecture, reading biographical history about world leaders, promoting women’s leadership, spending quality time with her husband, work-associate & best-friend, Bill, and learning life lessons from her daughter Lindsay, age 23, who lives in St. Andrews, Scotland. Asked what her ideal future would entail, Deb enthusiastically said “ I hope someday to live and work in Washington, DC, while a Republican woman is President!”

What gives a woman/man style?
Carving out a niche, a specialty, that no one else is doing as well

What is your favorite restaurant?
Lunch in the West Wing of the White House

Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met?
President Ronald Reagan

Who is your hero and why?
The 40 women who have served as their nation's President or Prime Minister

Saturday night at midnight is most likely to find you?
Asleep in bed!

Do you have any pets?
No, I travel too much

What is the greatest gift you have ever given?
My daughter to her father

What is the greatest gift you have ever received?
My husband, a great philanthropist, taught me 'how to give'

What one-word/ words describe you best?
Soft Power

What word/ words would you like others to use to describe you?
Loyal, generous, honest

What was your first job?
Waitress at a San Diego prime rib house during college

What are your volunteer activities?
Politics and promoting women's advancement

What word or expression do you use too much?
Let's go out to dinner!

If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be?
To be fluent in a foreign language

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you?
Thank goodness - no more political parties

What is your greatest indulgence?
Travel all over the world. I've been on all seven continents and would like to return

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My best friend--my husband, Bill, closely followed by my sister, daughter and nephew

What is your most treasured posession?
My wedding ring

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be fluent in French

What is your current state of mind?
So much to do, so little time

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having my parents in the audience at San Diego State, watching as I became the first member of my family to graduate from college

What is your motto?
"Any nation that uses only half its human resources will only achieve half its potential" (by Mary McAlleese, President of Ireland)

What is something one might not know about you?
I have a 'Handshake Club' of famous political figures

Deb, you are my role model, dear friend, and catalyst for positive change. You are the sunshine of our lives. Arizona respects, admires and embraces you!
Wink Blair

Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success in politics and philanthropy! What a pleasure to know and work with you on our shared passions!
Paula Wirth