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Janine Lee

Speaker; President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations

Janine Lee is a veteran strategist and grantmaker in philanthropy, with more than 25 years of rich and diverse leadership with nonprofits and foundations.

Janine is the President and CEO of the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF), the nation’s largest regional associations of grantmakers, serving more than 330 foundations and corporate giving programs – representing more than $50 billion in assets – active in the South. SECF works in partnership with members in 11 Southeastern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to serve, strengthen, promote and champion the South’s philanthropic voice and infrastructure through engaging programming, leadership development, public policy engagement, access to unique resources and invaluable connections. By encouraging insightful philanthropic collaboration, SECF creates opportunities to increase the region’s grantmaking impact and empower transformational community change.

During her career in philanthropy, Janine has served in leadership roles at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, where she worked as vice president of education programs, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she was vice president of community building and philanthropy.

Janine serves on the Board of Directors of Independent Sector and on the United Philanthropy Forum's Racial Equity Committee. Her previous board service includes the United Philanthropy Forum (formerly the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers), the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Mayor's Advisory Board on Homelessness in Atlanta. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Georgia Grantmakers Alliance (GGA), the Advisory Committee for the Foundation Center in Atlanta, and the Steering Committee guiding the Bechtel Foundation's research into resiliency. She is a co-founder and former chair of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). She has presented at various conferences, including those held by Independent Sector and the Council on Foundations. In 2015, she was named one of America’s Top 20 Women in Philanthropy and Civic Engagement by Michael Chatman, one of America’s leading advocates for philanthropy on social media. In 2017, she was named an Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Aspen Fellow. She was featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy's July 2019 cover story, Leaders of Color Speak Out, co-authored a November 2019 op-ed published in The Chronicle, and has been interviewed for articles in Inside Philanthropy and other publications.

Janine holds a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services education, a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, a master’s degree in business administration, and is a co-author of Funding Effectiveness: Lessons in Building Nonprofit Capacity (Jossey-Bass, 2005).