Ellen M. Lee, vice-Chairwoman

Ellen M. Lee serves as the Director of Housing Policy and Community Development for the City of New Orleans. The Director serves as an advisor to the Mayor and provides policy direction, management, and oversight of the programmatic and administrative activities of the department to address the city’s housing and community development needs. She also serves as the administration’s liaison to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and New Orleans Housing Authority. Ms. Lee returned to the public sector after serving nearly six years as Senior Vice President of Programs at the Greater New Orleans Foundation where she was responsible for the programmatic and grantmaking activity of the community foundation serving New Orleans and its 12 surrounding parishes.  Prior to her work in philanthropy, Ms. Lee held the position of Assistant Director of the Disaster Recovery Unit (DRU) within the State of Louisiana's Office of Community Development. The DRU was created to administer over $13 billion in federal funds to assist in the recovery of southern and coastal Louisiana following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Before joining the State, Ms. Lee served as the Deputy Executive Assistant for Neighborhood Development with the City of New Orleans. In that role she oversaw the administration of $30 million in federal, state, and local funds to address housing and community development needs in New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area. Ms. Lee was directly responsible for planning, development, coordination, and evaluation of housing and community services; for the provision of community services to low-and moderate income persons, homeless persons, and persons living with HIV/AIDS; and for administrative support functions including budget development and administration, human resources, compliance, and management information systems.

Ms. Lee began her career as the Director of the University of New Orleans College of Business Computing Center, a position she held for six years. She is twice a graduate of the University of New Orleans holding Bachelor of Science in Finance and Master of Business Administration degrees. She has also served on the Department of Management Faculty at UNO. Ms. Lee holds a certificate from the National Preparedness Leadership Institute at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.  She serves in leadership roles on multiple boards of directors of national and local civic and service related non-profit organizations including the Center for Community Progress, the Louisiana Housing Corporation, and the University of New Orleans Foundation.