Carolee Lee

Carolee Lee is an innovator, entrepreneur and thought leader dedicated to improving women’s health and wellbeing, and their opportunities to succeed. She was founder and CEO of Carolee Designs, one of the world’s leading accessories brands. After the sale of her business to Luxottica, Carolee focused her energies on women’s health and life planning. In 2008, she founded AccessCircles, a global, by-invitation network committed to bringing women access to leaders, resources and experiences that can help transform their lives. 

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Carolee launched WHAM in July 2018 as an initiative of AccessCircles to focus on increasing awareness of women’s health issues, investing in women’s health research and implementing strategies to improve the inequities and bias in research while accelerating scientific discovery before it became its own 501c3 in 2021. 

WHAM is recognized as the preeminent resource for data quantifying the economic benefits of increasing investment in women’s health research. The WHAM Report is the first in a series of groundbreaking reports showing the economic impact of accelerating women’s health research. WHAM has shifted the conversation from focusing solely on the underrepresentation and understudied role of women in research, to spotlighting the powerful economic return on investment that our data validates. 

Throughout her career, Carolee has embraced mentoring and leadership roles in many diverse business organizations and is active in numerous civic, philanthropic and educational organizations. Carolee currently serves on the board of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. She is a past president of the Committee of 200 and served as the Chair of its Foundation Board. Carolee served as a director on the board of DSW, Inc., the Museum of Arts and Design, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Women’s Leadership Board at The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also served on the board of The Society for Women’s Health Research.