Lee Werbel brings more than twenty years of experience in non-profit administration and more than ten years of community activism to the work at First 5 LA. Currently, Lee is the Director for the Communities Team, which is part of First 5 LA’s Center for Child and Family Impact. As Communities Director, she oversees the collaboration efforts within First 5 LA’s Best Start geographies which promote parent and community engagement to advance efforts that result in families having access to the resources and opportunities necessary to optimize their child’s development. 

For the past two years and prior to First 5 LA’s 2020 organizational restructuring, Lee served as the Deputy Director for the Communities Department for which her key areas of responsibility included working as a content expert and thought partner to the Director of Communities Department, helping to drive the design, execution, management and monitoring of the department’s strategies, programs and grants. She also provided essential leadership within the department and managed teams in implementing special projects and integration across strategies to achieve results in the Communities outcome area of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.  

Prior, Lee served as a Senior Program Officer for nine years. In that capacity, she led the development and implementation of Community Capacity Building programming for the place-based effort, Best Start Communities and the development of the framework and implementation of the Community Capacity Building component of the 2009-2015 Strategic Plan. She also served as lead monitoring the Community Opportunities Fund grants ($13 million—46 grants) and developed and implemented seven American Recovery and Reinvestment Act matching grants ($3 million). Additionally, She led the design, development and implementation of various capacity building programs including Grantee Technical Assistance Institute (Sustainability Project, Leadership Development Program, Social Enterprise, Flexible Technical Assistance, Consultant Resource Directory, Pre-Sustainability, Organizational Assessment  CCAT (through the TCC Group), Customized Consulting) Most recently, she was a member of four-person team to oversee the development of the FY 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. 

In her spare time (really???), Lee enjoys chocolate (dark), espresso, dance concerts and walking with her puppy Bronson. So  chocolate, coffee, dance and puppies  what else do you need?