Focus: HOPE Names Jason D. Lee as new CEO

Focus: HOPE is pleased to name Jason D. Lee, long-time executive  director of the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), as CEO of the non-profit organization, effective August 8th. He will succeed William Jones Jr., who announced his retirement earlier this year.

"Throughout its history, Focus: HOPE has been blessed with leadership committed to its mission,” said Glenda Price, Chair of Focus: HOPE’s Board of Directors. “The Focus: HOPE Board of Directors is grateful for the years of dedicated service that William Jones has provided to the organization and looks forward with anticipation of the renewed focus and energy that Jason Lee will bring. We look toward a positive future of working with him to achieve our goal of eliminating poverty, racism and injustice."

Jones, who came out of retirement in 2008 to join Focus: HOPE as CEO, has been planning his retirement in conjunction with the Board of Directors for nearly one year and will assist Lee during this transitional phase as needed through the end of 2016. Jones’s extraordinary career spans more than 35 years of service dedicated to Metro Detroit communities.

Lee was selected by Focus: HOPE’s Board of Directors during a comprehensive, nationwide search that received 200 applications, said Focus: HOPE Board Member Elliot Forsyth. “We know how critical of a hire this is, and we were seeking someone with a diverse background in community organization, education and executive non-profit experience. Jason Lee has strong ties in each of these areas and has played a role in providing local residents with impactful personal and career opportunities.”

Lee has spent the past 12 years as executive director of DAPCEP, working towards increasing the STEM educational program capacity for the Detroit Metropolitan area, specifically for young people from historically underrepresented backgrounds. During his tenure, DAPCEP has developed innovative programming, reduced operating costs, rebranded, relocated and supported student programming.

He has extensive volunteer experience throughout the Metro Detroit area, has been awarded Michigan Chronicle’s Men of Excellence 2014, Corp Magazine’s 2014 Diversity Business Leader Award, Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40 and more. He has also completed the National Urban Fellows: America’s Leaders of Change and Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives Non-Profit Management programs. Lee is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor where he majored in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Previously, Lee held engineering positions within Ford Motor Company’s powertrain and product development organizations. Lee, an 18- year resident of Southeast Michigan, credits his engineering and automotive background to his ability to derive solutions to complex problems and identify opportunities for growth. 

“The work of Focus: HOPE is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded in 1968,” Lee said. “Focus: HOPE is a model for the nation; I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this Michigan asset that is making an impact in the lives of this great community.”

“The work of Focus: HOPE is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded in 1968,” Lee said.