Melissa Lee, Board President
Melissa S. Lee is the Director of Planning and Community Engagement at Concordia. She is an urban planner, community organizer, social alchemist and reformed public servant, steeped in the certainty that anything is possible when radical imagination pairs with action. She co-leads an integrated team of planners, designers and technical experts in the completion of community engagement, planning and facilitation activities at Concordia.
As an experienced urban redevelopment professional and solutions-focused administrator with a comprehensive background in neighborhood economic development, community organizing, and urban planning, Melissa has over 20 years of experience shepherding socially innovative programs across the country from inception to completion. Her previous work experience includes serving on executive teams to advance program strategy and project implementation related to Federal Disaster Community Development Block (D-CDBG) investment initiatives; strategic planning processes with a collation of 25 not-for-profits to establish a unified neighborhood development agenda based on the framework of Results Based Accountability (RBA); a City led neighborhood economic development investment strategy; and the Lower Manhattan Small Business and Workforce Retention Program aiding in the September 11th recovery.
Melissa envisions equitable planning and development more than buzzwords. She is committed to making planning more responsive to quality of life demands of all populations, developing new tools for understanding how social and economic conditions affect access across racial and socioeconomic disparities, and diversifying the involvement of those participating in planning processes.
Melissa received a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Redlands and a M.P.A with a concentration in Urban Community and Economic Development from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.