Skip to main content

Alumni Profile: Josh Lee, Nature Conservancy Development Manager

September 9, 2020


This is the third in a series of profiles of Jackson School alumni who focused on cybersecurity and international studies during their degree.

Josh Lee is a Development Manager at The Nature Conservancy. He graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in International Studies.

Where are you now? What are you doing?

I am D.C. based and I work at The Nature Conservancy, an international environmental nonprofit. In my role as a Development Manager, I support multi-million dollar fundraising efforts for TNC’s climate and public policy work.

What were the most impactful educational experiences you had at the UW?

There are truly too many to count, but one comes to mind immediately. My senior year, I took “The Making of American Foreign Policy” with Jennifer Butte-Dahl. It was a deep dive into the U.S. foreign policy establishment – how it actually works in practice, rather than in textbooks. It opened my eyes to how I could use my JSIS degree, and I remember Jen encouraging me to make the big move to D.C., “the place where it happens.” My career path has taken some twists and turns since then, but I would not be here if not for that experience.

Are there any elements of your Jackson School education that you have really carried with you after graduation? What are they and why?

I so appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of the Jackson School. As a student, it kept things interesting, and as a graduate, it helps me understand the world as a complex and layered place. Working in fundraising for a global nonprofit is such a multifaceted space – it touches policy, people, passions, and (of course) money. I like to think my Jackson School education helps me show up to work every day, ready to tackle these issues intelligently!

Which Global Research Group did you work on?

I worked on a project for Microsoft researching internet/cybersecurity policy in developing countries.

Did your Global Research Group experience give or hone any skills that you have used since graduation?

Absolutely. Teamwork (and how to resolve conflicts), professionalism (and how to work with a client), practical writing skills (and how to synthesize large amount of complex info). For me, the project was a taste of the “real world” – a bridge between what I learned in class and what was to come after graduation.

This publication was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.