Karen C. Lee was appointed as interim chancellor of Honolulu Community College on June 1, 2019 after serving as vice chancellor of academic affairs.
Before joining the Honolulu CC leadership team in 2017, Lee served as the executive director of Hawaiʻi P–20, which works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve career and college success, and associate vice president for student affairs for the UH System, responsible for systemwide student affairs policies and student-related initiatives. Lee also served as executive assistant to the UH president, undergraduate coordinator at UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business, and in dean and director positions at Columbia and Colgate universities.
In 2012, Lee was selected to join the inaugural class of Omidyar Fellows, a program developed to inspire and equip emerging leaders with the skills needed to affect positive, lasting change in Hawaiʻi. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders and the Board of Directors for Anaha Ward Village.
Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Columbia University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.