David Y. LeeSocial Impact Storyteller
David Y. Lee joined Advancement Project National Office in 2020 as Social Impact Storyteller. In this role, David tells the stories of Advancement Project and our grassroots partners through creative case studies, engaging feature stories, photo essays and short-form content.
David’s story begins in the summer of 2003 when he had a decision to make: to be a Fulbright grantee in South Korea or the photo intern at U.S. News & World Report. He chose the internship.
After his internship, he started his career as a photojournalist documenting the 2004 presidential campaign. From 2004-2009, he covered the White House and national news for Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Times. He later secured $20K from the U.S. Department of Health to create Yearbook 2006, a multimedia project documenting the interrupted senior year for the Benjamin Franklin High School’s Class of 2006 in a post-Katrina New Orleans. He has also served as an official photographer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and worked for the Public Welfare Foundation, telling the stories of the foundation and its grantees, strengthening efforts to advancing criminal justice, juvenile justice, and workers’ rights.
In 2015, he partnered with the Pretrial Justice Institute to create storytelling content amplifying their mission advocating for bail reform and pretrial justice and most recently, led Your Shot, National Geographic’s global photo community featuring over 1 million aspiring, emerging, and professional photographers.
David is most proud of “The Waiting List.” After reading a 2008 Washington Post article, he recognized a unique opportunity to leverage social media with storytelling content and started a non-profit with the mission of increasing awareness, empathy, and online organ donor registration.
David volunteers his time humanizing the statistics of organ donation and works on The Waiting List to #endthewaitinglist one story at a time.
He holds a M.A. from Ohio University School of Visual Communications and a B.A. in English from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.