Sue Lee

Sue Lee | Executive Director, the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum (CHSA)

This can only be done with the confidence provided by rigorous scholarship and the passion that comes from an intimate connection to the sacrifices and triumphs of those who have gone before us.

Sue Lee, a third generation San Franciscan, was born at Chinese Hospital and grew up in the Richmond District. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B. A. in history and sociology, before returning to SF to work as a community organizer for the Chinatown Neighborhood Improvement Resource Center. In 1981, Sue began her public service at San Francisco City Hall as a legislative aide to Supervisor Nancy Walker, then as a specialist on small business issues under Mayors Feinstein and Agnos. Under Mayor Willie Brown, she was Director of Economic Development during the booming tech years and most recently was a Planning Commissioner for 6 years, where she also served as President. In her spare time, Sue helped create the Richmond District Neighborhood Center that is today a thriving, multi-purpose, multi-ethnic community center serving youth and their families.

Sue became Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum (CHSA) in 2004 and is responsible for its stewardship of the Chinese American community narrative through its on-site and traveling exhibits, public programs, publications, and treasured collections. Since 1963, as the first Chinese American historical society in America, CHSA has--through excellent scholarship, bold advocacy, and the tireless dedication of its Board, staff, members and supporters--built tremendous equity in bringing to light the untold stories of the Chinese American community. Under her tenure, CHSA has thrived by expanding its audiences and collections with groundbreaking exhibits and innovative programs while pursuing major collaborations with organizations such as: the de Young Museum, Oakland Museum of California, The Bancroft Library at University of California at Berkeley, California Historical Society, San Francisco Museum & Historical Society, Historical Society of the Northern California District Court, and many others.


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