Dawn Tyler Lee
Founder & CEO

Dawn Tyler Lee is a change agent, strategist, relationship builder, thought partner, problem solver, and the founder of Forrest Street Consulting. 

Prior to founding FSC, Dawn served as the former Deputy Chief of Staff for External Affairs for the current mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, serving as the highest ranking African-American appointed official in the administration. During her tenure, she coordinated the city’s efforts in community engagement, diversity, inclusion, education, and health. Dawn assumed additional responsibilities when Mayor Ginther also appointed her as the Interim Director of CelebrateOne, the city’s initiative to reduce infant mortality.  

In 2019, Dawn chaired the first national search for Columbus’ police chief and was the engineer behind a historic process that included robust community engagement components. 

Her impressive work history includes: Senior Vice President for Community Impact at United Way in Central Ohio, Founding Executive Director of Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), Housing Policy Director for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, and serving in two Vice Presidencies at The Ohio State University, overseeing Government Relations and Outreach & Engagement during her tenures.  

Dawn holds a master’s in urban affairs and public policy - with a specialization in housing and community development -  from the University of Delaware.  She has also successfully completed the Young Americans Leadership Program at the Harvard Business School

Dawn lives on the eastside of Columbus with her entrepreneur husband, Robert E. Lee III and their ornery puppy, Chiqui, a rescue from Puerto Rico.

CIVIC & Social Onboarding Testimonials

  • Dawn was one of the first people I met when I relocated to Columbus. She immediately made me feel welcome and introduced me to people who I now call my friends. She is a treasure to our community and to me

    -Charles Hillman, President and CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

  • Dawn Tyler Lee is the definition of a professional, but she is also kind and selfless. She has a proven ability to connect with others , a gift she graciously shared after meeting for the first time ever.  We instantly sparked a bond and friendship. She’s amazing!"

    -Andrew Kinsey, Anchor, WBNS10-TV

  • "Dawn has been invaluable to me in my transition to Columbus. There is virtually no one she doesn’t know or can get to for formal introductions to folks good to know. I jokingly call her Olivia Pope because she is the ultimate connector and fixer.

    -Maureen Stapleton, Executive Director, CelebrateOne


YWCA Women of Achievement 

Executive Elements Woman of the Week 

12 “Women You Should Know,” Women in Economic
Leadership Development 

11 People to Watch, Columbus Alive! 

“Bridge Builders,” Columbus Monthly 

Business First 40 Under 40 

Who’s Who in Black Columbus (featured
in four editions)

Boards & Commitees

Association of Staff and Faculty Women,

Buckeye Ranch, Board Member

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) 
Board of Trustees, Chair

Columbus Metropolitan Club Board of Trustees, Secretary

Columbus School for Girls Board Member

Homeport, formerly Columbus Housing Partnership, Board Member

New Directions Career Center Board, President

Philanthropy Ohio

Ruling Our Experiences (ROX), Founding Board Member

Community Shelter Board

Leadership development

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

Harvard University Young Americans Leadership Program

Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr College

African-American Leadership Academy Graduate

The Ohio State University Women’s Place Staff Leadership Series Graduate

United Way Project Diversity Graduate

Interviews / Media

Link to Columbus Dispatch - Dawn Tyler Lee named acting Franklin County commissioner
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