AT&T (No. 1 on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity) has named Debra L. Lee — who formerly served as BET Networks’ chairperson and CEO — to its board of directors.
During Lee’s time leading BET from 2006 until her retirement in 2009, she increased the network’s budget by 50% and introduced new programming to the network, including the shows “Being Mary Jane,” “The New Edition Story” and “Black Girls Rock!” as well as the BET Awards and BET Honors. Lee worked for the network for over thirty years, beginning in 1986 as its first in-house counsel.
She also founded Leading Women Defined, an annual conference of prominent Black women. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Lee to the White House Management Advisory Board. She has also served on other boards, including those of Twitter, Marriot and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a law degree from Harvard Law School and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Lee is the fourth woman to join AT&T’s board.
In addition to being No. 1 on DiversityInc’s Top 50, AT&T also appeared on a number of specialty lists, including No. 13 on Top Companies for Executive Women.
Lee appeared on Billboard’s Power 100 List in 2018 Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Women in Business in 2017 and The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100 in 2017.
“Debra’s outstanding leadership, deep expertise and strong track record in the entertainment and media industry will be terrific additions to our board of directors,” Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Her unique perspective as a media industry leader and operations executive, and her lifetime commitment to community service give her valuable insights I look forward to having on our board.”