Celebrate the A100, the most impactful Asian Pacific Leaders.

Ann Young Lee

Co-Founder and CEO, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort)

Ann Young Lee co-founded CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) in 2019 with Sean Penn, evolving from Penn’s J/P HRO which was established immediately following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. She counts her seven years living in Haiti as a foundational period that underpins CORE’s ethos – one that is focused on building resilience and led by local communities. Serving as CEO since 2016, Lee transformed CORE into an international NGO focused on emergency response, preparedness and community building. With over two decades of experience in the humanitarian sector, her expertise spans crisis relief, urban planning, community development, infrastructure, and livelihoods. Under Lee’s leadership, CORE responds to crises globally, notably including the Ukraine War, COVID-19 Pandemic, Turkey Earthquake and Pakistan Floods, among many other natural and man-made disasters.

Lee oversees a diverse team of nearly 400 global humanitarian staff dedicated to supporting vulnerable communities in and beyond crises. Prior to joining CORE, she worked as the lead on urban humanitarian response for the UN Secretary General’s World Humanitarian Summit. Lee holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from NYU and a Master’s in Economics & Conflict Management from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. She received the Truman Award in 2009 from the Society for International Development and has been profiled in TIME, ABC News, AP, CNN and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.