Debra J. Ringold

JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise

"A healthy respect for consumers, and a genuine dedication to serving them, underpins marketing as a managerial philosophy. It also serves as the foundation for successful careers in management, whether in business, government, or nonprofit organizations."


Debra Ringold is the JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. She teaches courses in private, public and nonprofit sector marketing, marketing research, marketing communications, and marketing and public policy. Debra was honored as the Administrator of the Year at Willamette University in 2005. Her teaching awards include the United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Community Service (in 2002) and the Jerry E. Hudson Distinguished Teaching Award (in 1997). She received the Portland Business Journal's Orchid Award, recognizing outstanding women in the business community, in 2009.

Debra Ringold dressage willamette university mba atkinsonHer research has appeared in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Macromarketing, Journal of Consumer Policy, Journal of Public Affairs, Advances in Public Policy and Marketing, Psychology and Marketing, American Behavioral Scientist, and numerous conference proceedings including Advances in Consumer Research. Debra is the 2004 recipient of the Thomas C. Kinnear/ Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Award for outstanding research.

Debra has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing since 1991 and served a three year term as its Associate Editor. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the 38,000 member American Marketing Association in 2000. She completed her term as Chairperson of the AMA Board in July 2007.

Debra recently served on the Advisory Council to the U.S. Census Bureau. She helped advise the Bureau on ways to encourage Census participation, improve its data collection methodology and help the general public utilize and understand Census data.

In 2010, Debra was elected to the Executive Council for the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (also known as NASPAA: The Global Standard in Public Service Education) for a three year term. She was appointed to the organization's specialized accreditation body, the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), in 2013.

Debra competes as an amateur in dressage.


A sound understanding of marketing will increase the likelihood that you will make a significant contribution to your organization and its customers. To some, marketing is the function that identifies customer needs and wants, determines which target markets to serve, and designs appropriate products and services for these markets. While this sounds reasonable, marketing is much more than a function - it is a philosophy that can guide the entire organization.

Marketing is a process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging ideas, products or services. Our goal is to teach you to integrate the customer into the design and delivery of valuable products and services while creating real substance in customer relationships. A healthy respect for consumers, and a genuine dedication to serving them, underpins marketing as a managerial philosophy. It's also the foundation for successful management careers.


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • M.B.A., Southern Illinois University
  • B.A., Texas Tech University

Areas of Instruction

Research for Marketing Decisions, Integrated Marketing Communications, Seminar in Marketing and Public Policy, Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

Research Interests

Economics of Information

Selected Professional Activities

  • Executive Council Member, Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)
  • Past Board Member, Oregon Women MBAs
  • Past Board Member, Greenlight Greater Portland (2008-2009)
  • Past Member, U.S. Census Bureau Advisory Council (2008)
  • Past Chairperson of the Board of Directors, American Marketing Association (2007)
  • Past Member of the Board of Directors, American Marketing Association Foundation
  • Past Vice President for Teaching & Information Dissemination, American Marketing Association
  • Past Chair and Board Member, Marketing and Society Special Interest Group of the American Marketing Association.
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and Journal of Advertising.
  • Consulting Experience: Anheuser-Busch Companies, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Hewlett-Packard.

Selected Publications

Maltz, E., Thompson, F. and Ringold, D.J. (2011), "Assessing and maximizing corporate social initiatives: a strategic view of corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Affairs, 11 (n/a), 384-392.

Ringold, D.J. (2008), "Le Mieux Est L'ennemi Du Bien," Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 27 (2), 197-201.

Ringold, D.J. (2008) “Responsibility and Brand Advertising in the Alcohol Beverage Market: The Modeling of Normative Drinking Behavior,” Journal of Advertising, 37 (1), 127-141.

Ringold, D.J. and B. Weitz (2007), “The American Marketing Association Definition of Marketing: Moving from Lagging to Leading Indicator,” Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 26 (2), 251-260.

Ringold, D.J. (2006), “The Morality of Markets, Marketing, and the Corporate Purpose,” in Does Marketing Need Reform?, Jagdish N. Sheth and Rajendra S. Sisodia, eds., Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 64-68.

Ringold, D.J. (2005), “Vulnerability in the Marketplace: Concepts, Caveats, and Possible Solutions,” Journal of Macromarketing, 25 (2), 202-214.

Ringold, D.J. (2002), “Boomerang Effects In Response to Public Health Interventions: Some Unintended Consequences in the Alcoholic Beverage Market,” Journal of Consumer Policy, 25 (1), 27-63.

Pappalardo, J.K. and D.J. Ringold (2000), "Regulating Commercial Speech in a Dynamic Environment: Forty Years of Margarine and Oil Advertising Before the NLEA," Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 19 (1), 74-92.