30th Annual James A. Joseph Awards Ceremony

Trailblazer Award

Reggie Van Lee

Partner and Chief Transformation Officer, The Carlyle Group

Reginald (Reggie) Van Lee is a philanthropist, an arts advocate, and retired Executive Vice President of the global management and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. He was appointed by President Obama to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was formerly appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He is the co-author of the book, “Mega communities – How Leaders of Government, Business and Non-Profits Can Tackle Today’s Global Challenges Together.”

Born in the late 1950’s in Houston, Texas, Mr. Van Lee was raised in the segregated south as a little black boy, who happened to be gay, and didn’t dwell on the negative aspects of being different – he used his “differentness” to thrive. He had a dream to be somebody and through his drive, and support from his family, and his community, he was able to make those dreams come true. Mr. Van Lee fulfilled a childhood dream from watching “Star Trek” to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees. After a brief stint working for Exxon, in Houston, he went back to school to complete his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He then joined Booz Allen Hamilton.

While working at Booz Allen, Mr. Van Lee discovered a desire to find his journey to purpose and do everything he could to support the arts and other aspects of communities he loved, and in which he believed. Among other awards recognizing his commitment to service, he received New York University’s C. Walter Nichols Award for outstanding community service, the Abyssinian Development Corporation Renaissance Award for his long-time and faithful commitment to the Harlem community and the Percy E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award from the Apollo Theater Foundation, and was recognized as one of New York’s finest Philanthropists.Mr. Van Lee serves as Chairman of the board of the Washington Performing Arts and of the National CARES Mentoring Movement.  He is a Trustee of the Studio Museum in Harlem and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council. He is Vice Chair of the board of The Washington Ballet.

Other recognition include the 2008 Black Engineer of the Year Award, Consulting Magazine named Mr. Van Lee as one of the top 25 consultants in the world in 2008, and he was identified as one of the 2009 Washington Minority Business Leaders by the Washington Business Journal.Mr. Van Lee has co-authored a number of articles on the topic of strategy implementation.  These articles have appeared in publications such as The Journal of Business Strategy and Business Horizons. He has appeared on ABC-TV’s “World News This Morning” and CNBC, and co-led the Urban Enterprise Initiative with the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, which focused on driving enhanced competitiveness of small businesses in Harlem.  He is a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Reggie is committed to helping the parents, teachers, mentors, and advocates who serve our nation’s youth.

Other Awardees

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy

Naa Hammond

Senior Program Officer, The Groundswell Fund

Awardee Bio
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