Marisa Renee Lee is a cross-sector leader dedicated to engaging the private sector to help solve social challenges. Lee most recently served as Managing Director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) born out of President Obama's call to action to address the barriers to success that boys and young men of color disproportionately face along the life path.
Lee began her career in 2006 at Brown Brothers Harriman as an Associate in the commodities banking group. While at Brown Brothers, Lee specialized in coffee and energy products. In 2007, while working at Brown Brothers, Lee founded The Pink Agenda, a breast cancer not-for-profit 501(c)(3), in honor of her mother, Lisa. As founder, Lee was responsible for fundraising, board management, and overall organizational development. Almost a decade later, The Pink Agenda is now a national organization of young professionals committed to raising money for breast cancer research and care in partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
In 2010, Lee joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as an appointee in the Obama Administration. During that time, she began to combine her passion for service with her finance and small business background. At the SBA, Lee focused on entrepreneurship and access to capital in underserved communities. She supported the Agency’s program offices on outreach, restructuring and creating new lending programs, and the formulation and implementation of policies to promote entrepreneurship. Lee specifically helped to lead the implementation of HR 5297 the US Small Business Jobs Act, a critical component of President Obama’s economic recovery efforts. Additionally, Lee also coordinated minority business engagement activities across the Obama Administration, which included spearheading a series of Urban Economic Forums co-hosted by the White House. These forums connected thousands of urban entrepreneurs to public, not-for-profit, and private sector business development resources.
In 2013, Lee accepted a position with the White House Domestic Policy Council as a Senior Policy Advisor for Urban Affairs and Economic Mobility. Lee directed all engagement efforts for the President’s Ladders of Opportunity and Promise Zones initiatives. Lee later served as Deputy Director of Private Sector Engagement at the White House where she oversaw public-private partnerships and relationships with the business community on behalf of President Obama.
In 2014, Lee joined a team of corporate leaders interested in responding to President Obama’s call to action to support boys and young men of color. Lee successfully transitioned President Obama’s initiative focused on improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color from a White House effort to a standalone not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a $15MM annual operating budget and 17 employees. Lee was responsible for building the organization’s vision, strategy, programming, operational systems, and team to execute the organization’s mission.
In 2016, Lee was recognized in the Chronicle of Philanthropy list of 40 Under 40 as a “Rabble Rouser for Obama.” In addition, she has been a featured speaker at several forums, including SXSW. Lee has also written op-eds on race, opportunity, economic mobility and grief for CNN, Philanthropy News Digest, News One, the Huffington Post, and other outlets.
In 2017, Lee was honored to be named to the Ebony Power 100 list, among other Community Crusaders she admires.
Today, Lee works with a variety of institutions on organizational development, public-private partnership strategies, change management, and stakeholder engagement.
Lee is a graduate of Harvard College and an avid Green Bay Packers fan. She resides in northern Virginia with her husband, Matthew, and the world’s coolest dog, Sadie.
Marisa currently provides strategic consulting services in the following areas:
- Strategic engagement with a focus on engaging the private sector to solve social problems
- Organizational design and development
- Business development
- Organizational health
- Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy and Management