Myung J. Lee serves as the executive director of Cities of Service, a coalition of nearly 200 mayors from across the United States and around the world that have committed to using citizen volunteers to tackle pressing local challenges.Prior to joining Cities of Service, Myung served as a Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), where she led the Division of Early Care and Education. In this role, she was responsible for administering all aspects of one of the largest publicly funded early care and education systems in the country, serving the needs of over 100,000 children with a budget of over $1 billion.
Myung has held leadership positions in the private sector and with several New York City-based and national organizations in the nonprofit sector. She was also a program officer and associate general counsel for the Corporation for National and Community Service and supported the launch and implementation of the first AmeriCorps classes. Myung’s professional career in service began as a Georgetown Law and Public Policy Fellow at the National Women’s Law Center.
A graduate of New York’s Bronx High School of Science, Myung holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
How did you get to where you are today? I’ve had a variety of jobs, in public, private and nonprofit sectors but I’ve been the happiest where I felt I was making a difference and helping others do the same.
What keeps you motivated? Big ideas with the potential to change the world keeps me motivated!
In one word what would you describe as your greatest strength? I am a fast learner, am really good at a crisis, and can make decisions. But my greatest strength is probably in being straight forward.
How do you prepare yourself when you know something is going to be controversial or challenging? I am thoroughly prepared for all sides of the argument and go into the situation with my mind and ears open but ready to make the best case for what is right.