Deborah Catchings-Smith, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Background

• 24th International President and Board Chairman of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

• Vice President, operational risk management governance at Citibank.

In July 2018, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s grand chapter of delegates re-elected Deborah Catchings-Smith to a second two-year term as international president during the organization’s national convention (boule) in Dallas. Her term ends July 2020. She has been active in the sorority since her college years at Illinois State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in finance.  Her leadership roles within the sorority spans 41 years and includes local, regional and national elected positions. She was born in Jackson, Miss., raised in Joliet, IL. and resides in St. Louis with her husband of 34 years, Robert Smith.

She has more than 31 years of experience in the financial industry and is currently vice president, operational risk management governance at Citibank. In this role, she has led countless risk assessment teams that were charged with identifying risks, creating risk management programs, and designing and implementing timely policies and procedures. She is also a seasoned and certified financial literacy instructor who teaches a financial literacy curriculum to youth and adults.

Sorority Background

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., an international collegiate and non-profit community service organization, was founded in 1922 on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis. It has welcomed more than 100,000 members who have joined the organization as undergraduates and professionals. Official affiliate groups include Rhoer Club (young girls) and Philos (friends of the sorority). The sorority has more than 500 chapters in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the mission of the sorority to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service. Programs, initiatives, and partnerships are devoted to progress in the areas of education, healthcare, political action and leadership development. The sorority is headquartered in Cary, N.C., and is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s “Divine Nine.”  For more information, visit

Sigma Gamma Rho offers its members opportunities to develop their unique leadership abilities and talents through leadership training and involvement in sorority activities and programs. Sigma Gamma Rho membership provides an atmosphere to develop friendships and connect with a global network of professional contacts which last and provide invaluable support, sisterly love and career assistance for a lifetime.

Sigma Gamma Rho was founded on the precept of education and continues to promote and encourage high scholastic attainment. Its aim is to enhance the quality of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and education of youth are the hallmark of the organization’s programs and activities. Sigma Gamma Rho addresses concerns that impact society educationally, civically and economically.

Voter Registration

Sigma Gamma Rho has a long-standing commitment to getting out the vote each year. Chapters coordinate voter registration campaigns and events with the understanding that elections on the local and regional level are just as important as national presidential elections. Its National Social Action Committee leads their efforts and coordinates partnerships with organizations such as the NAACP, Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” program and others.

2020 Census

In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, the sorority created a public service announcement titled, “Don’t Get Distracted” in support of the 2020 Census campaign, “Shape your future. START HERE.” The 30-second public service announcement is being distributed to the media and through the organization’s and the Bureau’s social media channels.

Response to COVID-19

“We Are Sigma Strong” is the theme of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s six-part webinar series, which was launched March 25 to bring resources, tips and some peace of mind to their membership and the general public. Members of the public can listen to the free recordings anytime.

Topics include: Dealing with Feelings of Isolation and Fear; Tips for Homeschooling with Patience; Personal Care: Hair, Skin and Fitness; Preparing for an Uncertain Job Market; Being Sigma Smart with Your Money; Planning for a Post Coronavirus Era: What to Expect? All webinars were led by highly skilled and credentialed professionals.

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