President and CEO, Community Foundations
Topics of Expertise:
Lee Roper-Batker is the president and chief executive officer of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. Lee joined the Foundation in 2001.
Under her leadership, the Foundation has doubled its endowment and annual grantmaking, and established the girlsBEST Fund to build girls’ future economic well-being the first permanently endowed fund of its kind in the nation. Since its launch in 2002, the girlsBEST Fund has provided thousands of Minnesota girls with the skills and resources to help boost their economic futures.
Lee is recognized for incorporating the voices and perspectives of Minnesotans in all of the Foundation’s research on the status of women and girls, and as well as her use of a gender/race/place/equity lens in the Foundation’s research and grantmaking. Lee also launched specific public policy and collaborative funding streams and research to help women and girls achieve greater economic justice, safety and security, human rights, health care, and political power.
Lee currently serves on the board of the Women’s Funding Network, a consortium of 143 women’s funds from six continents that invest in women-led solutions to the most pressing social issues around the globe. Prior to joining the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Lee owned a strategic fundraising and communications firm for seven years, which raised more than $20 million dollars for nonprofits across the country, and she held leadership positions in the anti-poverty, social justice and disabilities communities.
Lee is a summa cum laude graduate of Augsburg College and received a diploma from the Higher Trade Union College in Moscow, where she studied Trade Union Movements.
Lee lives in Minneapolis, with her husband, John Roper-Batker, and their daughter, Astia.