Advisory Board


Lee Davis


Lee Davis is an author, designer and social entrepreneur, and currently a Scholar-in-Residence at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where he is a part of the team establishing the Center for Social Design, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to creating visionary solutions to complex social problems and to inspiring and preparing the next generation of creative changemakers.

Lee is a Co-Founder of NESsT, a pioneer in supporting social enterprises — businesses designed to solve critical social problems. Lee served for 15 years as co-CEO (1997-2011), building NESsT into a global team with 50 staff and offices in 11 countries, and was a 2004 winner of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. As Chief Innovation Officer at NESsT (2012-2013), he was curator of the 2012 Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF2012) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lee started his career as a designer with firms in New York, Connecticut, and Osaka, Japan, and was the first in-house designer in international relief and development agency CARE. Prior to founding NESsT, Lee worked as a Program Officer in the Public Participation Program of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) in Budapest.

He holds an MA in Policy Studies from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA in studio art from Connecticut College. Lee was a recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to undertake an independent ethnology of design in Japan and Switzerland from 1988-1989. In 2010, Lee was appointed as a Social Enterprise Fellow at the Yale School of Management.

Lee currently divides his time between Baltimore, Maryland, the San Joaquin Valley of California.