Lee Bynum

Lee Bynum is Chief Education Officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, providing strategic leadership, creative vision, and administrative direction for the organization’s educative initiatives, and serving as an advocate for the value and importance of arts education. Additionally, Bynum inaugurated the role of Vice President for Impact at Minnesota Opera, guiding the company’s educational, engagement, and equity work. During Bynum’s tenure, the company made diversification a priority, and the percentage of the staff who identified as people of color rose by fifteen percent, including at the director, vice president, and board levels; built its access apparatus to begin addressing internal policy and artistic programming gaps relative to physical ability and neurodivergence, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, and gender identity; produced multiple mainstage works by Black, Asian, Latinx, and women composers and librettists; and unveiled a community commissioning program that advanced conversations around who-creates-opera-and-for-whom.

Previously, Bynum served as the Associate Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, steering a program that shepherded several hundred budding scholars of color through the PhD process at dozens of colleges and universities in the United States and South Africa. Bynum was the Assistant Director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, managing the Latinx, Asian American, Native American, and comparative ethnic studies programs. Bynum has been active with several nonprofits dedicated to progressive causes, including TakeRoot Justice, the Black Feminist Project, and Diaspora Community Services. Since 2021, Bynum has cohosted The Score podcast, which was recommended by The New York Times for its humorous interviews with artists, activists, and academics on a range of contemporary topics in the inclusion, diversity, equity, and access sphere. Bynum holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.