Barbara Lee is a national leader in advancing women’s equality in American politics. She founded and leads the Barbara Lee Political Office and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.
Inspired by her grandmother’s stories of suffragists marching on New York City’s Fifth Avenue in the early 1900s, Barbara has worked to elect women since 1998. Through strategic advice, candidate training, direct support, and voter mobilization, she has helped elect every sitting Democratic woman governor and U.S. Senator. With an exceptional eye for emerging leadership, Barbara is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of women candidates.
Barbara’s impact is nationwide: She has helped elect 140 women in 32 states.
Knowing that fundraising is essential for electing more women to public office, Barbara has been at the forefront of bringing women donors to the table on behalf of women candidates. When the Democratic National Convention was held in Boston, Barbara convened Revolutionary Women, bringing together many of the nation’s best and brightest political minds to showcase women’s leadership. She also hosts Women’s Senate, a biennial fundraiser that provides critical support for progressive women Senators.
Boston Magazine has included Barbara among “Boston’s Most Powerful Thought Leaders,” “The 100 People Who Run This Town,” and is listed among their “50 most powerful women” in Boston. Women’s eNews ranked her among the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.”
A strong believer in increasing women’s representation across fields, Barbara is also an advocate for women contemporary artists, both outside of and within her role as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
Barbara earned a master’s degree from the Boston University School of Social Work and her bachelor’s degree from Simmons College.
Vice Chair, Institute for Contemporary Art Boston
Member, Women’s Leadership Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
Woman of the Year, Emerge Massachusetts, 2012
“Woman of Action” Award, Boston Women’s Fund, 2010
The “Wendy” Shattered Glass Award, Women’s Campaign Forum, 2010
Leader for the 21st Centry, Women’s eNews, 2009
Circle of Giving Award, New England Womens Leadership Awards, 2006
Abigail Adams Award, Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, 2002
President’s Award, NACW, 3rd Annual National Convention, 2002
George A. Dean Leadership Award, The Women’s Campaign School at Yale, 2003
Academy of Women Achievers, Class of 2002, YWCA Boston, 2002