Satana T. Deberry was sworn into office as district attorney for the 16th prosecutorial district in North Carolina’s Durham County on January 1, 2019, where she manages a team of 36 legal professionals including assistant district attorneys, legal support staff members and deputy chief administrators.
Deberry brings to the position an extensive and varied professional background that has included legal work, finance and nonprofit management. She has represented clients in criminal matters as a criminal defense attorney while in private practice in her home town; served as the general counsel for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services; and served in many capacities within the nonprofit community. Most recently Deberry worked as the executive director for North Carolina Housing Coalition.
One thing that has remained consistent throughout her career is her commitment to dismantling systems that restrict the lives of poor people, families, communities of color and other marginalized and underrepresented groups. She has worked to help expand access to resources in the community for people with serious, sometimes life-threatening, personal, legal issues — whether it is criminal justice, access to housing, food and medicine, childcare, or legal services.
Deberry was born and raised in Hamlet (Richmond County), North Carolina. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Princeton, and earned her law degree at Duke University School of Law and a master’s in business administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. She is a mother who enjoys spending time with her active teenaged daughters.