Debra L. Lee

Recently inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, Debra L. Lee is one of this country’s most respected business executives. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks, the leading media and entertainment company aimed at African-Americans, she is one of the highest ranking African-American women at the media giant Viacom Inc. A graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School, Lee played a key role in taking BET public in 1991. Prior to her appointment as CEO in March 1996, Ms. Lee served as the network’s executive vice president of strategic business development. In 2003, Ms. Lee was given the Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership from the National Cable Television Association, making her the first African-American female executive to receive the honor. Under her leadership, BET continues to bring quality programming to an audience of 89 million households.

Featured News Releases

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party - Wednesday, November 28 at 7pm

October 25, 2018 (NEW YORK CITY) – As a centerpiece to its yearlong Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary celebration and a kickoff to its five-week holiday season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will host a star-studded gala benefit on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm, complete with a performance for the ages at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The Honorary Chairs for the evening are screen icons Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson. Bassett, a Golden Globe Award winner, stars in the hit television series 9-1-1, and was most recently featured in the 2018 blockbusters Black Panther and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Tyson – known for a myriad of roles across television and film, including Roots, Fried Green Tomatoes, and most recently How to Get Away With Murder – has received three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on November 18th will make history as the first black woman to receive an Honorary Academy Award.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s “Modern American Songbook” Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party Honors Board President Debra L. Lee - Wednesday, November 29th At 7pm

(New York) November 9, 2017 – On Wednesday, November 29th at 7pm, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s five-week holiday season kicks off with a star-studded gala benefit, including a performance at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The Gala honors Ailey Board President Debra L. Lee (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks) for her commitment to the advancement of arts and culture and her dedication to the organization, which has helped steer Ailey to success since she joined the Board in 2002. Honorary Chairs for the evening are music and film stars Queen Latifah and Janelle Monáe.

Ailey Wynn Wing Opening Press Release 10-19-17_ FinalDraft_cl

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Opens Its New Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing At The Joan Weill Center For Dance

NEW YORK, NY, October 19, 2017 — At a festive ribbon-cutting, celebrated on the evening of October 18, leaders of the Ailey organization joined with dancers, students, donors, and friends from New York City’s dance community to open The Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing, a 10,000-square-foot expansion of Ailey’s permanent home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance.

Featured Press Coverage

ELLE - Debra L. Lee

When Deba L. Lee began her career at BET, it was barely more than a start-up.