Myung J. Lee is Executive Director of Cities of Service, a nonprofit that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together. More than 260 Cities of Service coalition cities in the Americas and Europe tap into the knowledge, creativity, and service of citizens to solve public problems together.
An expert on citizen engagement, Myung has been sought out by cities around the world to speak on the topic, including Helsinki, Montreal, and York, U.K. She has also shared her expertise and experience with audiences at SXSW, Smart Cities Week, Upswell, AARP Livable Cities, Aspen Institute, and more. She has written about citizen engagement as a means to keep democracy alive at the local level for Stanford Social Innovation Review, the importance of sustained engagement for Governing, and what political engagement can teach us about involving citizens beyond the ballot box for The Hill.
Myung previously served as a Deputy Commissioner with the City of New York Administration for Children’s Services, where she was responsible for one of the nation’s largest publicly funded early care and education systems. There, she managed a budget of over $1 billion for an agency that served more than 100,000 children. She has extensive nonprofit management experience and has led organizations focused on homeless assistance, domestic violence, and early childhood development. Myung was a program officer and associate general counsel at the Corporation for National Service, where she managed multi-million-dollar grant programs and helped launch AmeriCorps. Her private-sector experience spans development, sales, and human resources. Early in her career, Myung was a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow at the National Women’s Law Center where she was advocate and counsel for incarcerated women.
Myung holds advisory positions within several organizations that partner with Cities of Service. She is a member of the What Works Cities Certification Standard Committee, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative that recognizes data-driven and well-managed city governments. She also belongs to the Yankelovich Democracy Monitor advisory group at Public Agenda, an organization dedicated to fortifying democracy. Myung sits on the board of advisors for additional partner organizations, including Cause Strategy Partners, Bridge Alliance Education Fund, and Participatory City.
A Forty Women to Watch Over 40 Honoree, Myung holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is originally from New York City, and resides in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.