M. Lee Pelton
Lee Pelton is the CEO & President of The Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s leading philanthropic organizations with $1.6 billion in assets. He joined the Foundation in June 2021, after serving as President of Emerson College (2011-2021) and Willamette University (1998-2011). Pelton began his academic career at Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in English literature with an academic focus on 19th-century British prose and poetry. He taught English and American literature at Harvard and served as senior tutor at Winthrop House. He later served on the Harvard Board of Overseers and as a vice-chair of its executive committee. After Harvard, Pelton served as dean of the college at Colgate University and Dartmouth College. A well-respected thought and innovation leader, Pelton was inducted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce into its Academy of Distinguished Bostonians in 2020. He has also received the Governor’s Award from MassHumanities (2020) and the Robert Coard Distinguished Leadership Medal (2021), and was honored by the Eos Foundation with a $100,000 racial justice grant in his name (2020). He has also been frequently included on lists of civic leaders in Boston, most recently ranking 11th on Boston Magazine’s 2021 list of 100 Most Influential Bostonians in his fourth appearance on the list (2014, 2017, 2018). He was also listed as one of the 50 Most Powerful Leaders in Boston by the Boston Business Journal in 2018 and 2020. He has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post. Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Guardian (UK), Forbes, the Presidency Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Color Magazine, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Diversity Journal, and countless media in America and abroad. He has been a guest on National Public Radio (NPR) as well as on NPR affiliates WBUR and GBH, and on television on CBS, ABC and Boston’s PBS affiliate television station, GBH2. He has received honorary degrees from the Urban College of Boston, Wichita State University and Tokyo International University.