March 24, 2022

Mayor Lightfoot Names Nicole Lee New 11th Ward Alderman

Appointment Comes at Conclusion of Selection Process Led by Community Members

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that Nicole Lee, a lifelong Chicagoan raised in Chinatown, will be the new Alderman representing Chicago’s 11th ward and the first Asian American woman to serve on the Chicago City Council.  

“Nicole Lee has spent her life expanding and amplifying 11th ward issues and voices,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Her dedication to empowering communities and building coalitions is evident in her career and in her involvement in a variety of community organizations. She is the right choice to make sure 11th ward residents are fully represented on the Chicago City Council.” 

The selection of Lee came after a thorough process in which applicants were reviewed by a four-member selection committee made up of dedicated public servants and 11th ward residents. The committee then recommended candidates to the Mayor. 

Lee will appear in front of the City Council Committee on Committees and Rules prior to a confirmation vote by the full City Council at a special meeting on March 28th

“The 11th Ward is a diverse community of hard-working people who embody the grit, love, and neighborhood pride that make Chicago a great city,” said Lee. “It’s a tremendous honor to receive this appointment to serve my fellow residents of the 11th Ward.”  

Lee currently serves as the Director of Social Impact Optimization and Global Community Engagement at United Airlines. In her role, Lee leads the team that is accountable for the company’s global portfolio of nonprofit partnerships and delivering on United’s social impact strategy including humanitarian and disaster response.   

Lee’s passion for public service is most evident in her membership in community organizations. Lee is currently a member of the UIC Asian American Advisory Council. In the past, Lee served as the Chair of the Haines Elementary School Council, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, and in a variety of leadership positions at other organizations.  

She is a graduate of Indiana University and has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. 

“It is exciting and historic that the Mayor has appointed the first Alderman from the Chinese American community,” said State Representative Theresa Mah, 2nd District. “I know Nicole and I am confident that she has the right skill set to represent all 11th Ward residents well in City Council. I look forward to working with her to serve our mutual constituents.” 

“I am thrilled that Mayor Lightfoot has selected Nicole Lee to serve as the new Alderman of the 11th ward,” said Alderman Michele Harris, Ex-Officio Chair of the 11th Ward Selection Committee. “She is passionate about improving the 11th ward and has a proven track record of public service. I look forward to working with her on the City Council.”  

“Nicole’s dedication, knowledge, and leadership make her the perfect person for the 11th ward in this moment,” said Eileen Chin, a resident of the 11th ward and President of R.M. Chin & Associates. “She will be a bridge between communities, a dynamic voice in the city council, and a leader for our great city. As an 11th ward constituent, I look forward to supporting Nicole in the months ahead. Thank you to Mayor Lightfoot, the selection committee, and my fellow community leaders for their commitment to a diligent and thoughtful process.” 

"We thank the Mayor for her speedy decision that included an open process that also valued community inputs,” said CW Chan, Founder of the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community. “We congratulate Nicole Lee and are confident that she will represent the Bridgeport/Chinatown community well with her neighborhood engagement background and her proven administrative and human relations skills. The appointment of an Asian American alderperson also signifies the recognition of the historical presence of the Asian American Community and its contributions to our great city." 

"We are delighted at the appointment of Nicole Lee. She is the right choice to serve a community that she has lived in her entire life and now has an opportunity to lead into the future,” said Ernest Wong, Board Member of the Chinese American Service League. “As a Chinese American that historically has never had representation at City Council, this appointment is both significant and impactful for a growing Asian American community in this great City of Chicago." 

“We want to thank Mayor Lightfoot for making history with this incredible appointment, and for advocating for our communities,” said Paul Poy, Commissioner of the Chinatown SSA.  “Nicole Lee will be our champion and will serve this City with dignity and hope for the future.” 

“The 11th ward is a diverse, vibrant, and passionate community,” said Catherine Amy Moy Davis, Principal of Haines Elementary School. “We are thrilled to welcome a new Alderman that matches the passion of our community and is eager to serve. Nicole will be a champion for 11th ward issues and will amplify our voices on the City Council.”