Monday, February 22, 1999

Name: Deborah M. Ching
Age: 37
Education: Punahou, Brown University, Columbia University
Occupation: Marketing consultant
Hobbies: Reading, travel, soccer, tennis

Helping GI Janes

Two years ago, Deborah Ching helped plan a Girl Scouts fund-raiser in which she had to coordinate the appearances of high-ranking military women.

"I was constantly on the phone talking with people in the Pentagon, and I was impressed," said Ching, who has been selected by Defense Secretary William Cohen to serve a three-year term on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. The panel is made up of 34 civilians -- selected on the basis of their achievements in business, their professions and civic affairs -- who advise Cohen on matters relating to women in the military.

Several island politicians, including Rep. Barbara Marumoto and former Rep. Jackie Young, have served on the panel since it was established in 1951 by then-Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall.

Ching said she is interested in quality of life issues affecting women in uniform, and advancement. "There are very, very few women in senior leadership positions in the military," she said.

However, Ching added she is undertaking the appointment with "an open mind," and looks forward to talking to women stationed in Hawaii about their situation and concerns.

"Right now, I am trying to learn as much as I can about the issue," she said.

Ching is the principal of Ching Consulting, a marketing firm which provides consulting services including marketing strategy, planning and implementation to private, public and nonprofit companies.

Ching also is head coach of the girls' soccer program at her alma mater, Punahou School.

She was nominated by the 15th Air Base Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, and was one of 12 people selected by Cohen.

Gregg K. Kakesako, Star-Bulletin

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