Welcome Shanna Lee, DataKind’s Director, Global Volunteers

August 21, 2020

DataKind’s data scientist volunteers are the engine of what we do, applying their expertise to assist high-impact, mission-driven organizations tackle the world’s biggest challenges. With chapters in Bangalore, San Francisco Bay Area, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Washington DC, the Director, Global Volunteers sets the vision and strategy for engaging and supporting our worldwide volunteer community. We’re honored to welcome Shanna Lee as our first Director, Global Volunteers. Shanna will create an environment in which volunteers can contribute in meaningful ways to our partners, feel valued for their unique abilities, and reflect the diverse communities they represent. Ensuring that our volunteers are trained and supported in their work, she will partner with the Center of Excellence and other Programs team staff to develop a best-in-class orientation and training program and build volunteer talent pipelines for data projects. She brings 12 years of volunteer engagement, community engagement, strategy, public health, and partnership experience to DataKind. 

Learn more about her background below and please join us in giving Shanna a very warm DataKind welcome!

What were you up to before DataKind?

Most recently, I was the Senior Volunteer Engagement Manager at the American Cancer Society, a nonprofit public health organization that partners alongside 1.5 million volunteers in the fight against cancer. This national leadership role involved the creation and implementation of volunteer engagement strategies in the emerging areas of health equity, skills-based volunteerism, and young professional volunteer engagement. In addition, I was a strategic partner to staff, consulting them on volunteer engagement as a key strategy in achieving outcomes. In order to support those strategies and empower collaboration, volunteer-staff partnership training and resources were developed. Involving volunteers in the co-creation process of the work was an essential success factor. 

Why are you excited to join DataKind?

I'm excited because the story of DataKind starts and continues with volunteers, and I look forward to collaborating with them toward future success!!  I'm impressed with the impact they’ve made and the movement toward building on that success strategically through our Impact Practices. In my previous role within health equity, I also noticed a clear shared need among communities trying to figure out how data science can ethically and equitably create healthy communities. I’m excited to enable our volunteers to apply data science ethically and equitably in communities. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy art of all kinds. In particular, I love salsa dancing and listening to music. I can't do one without the other. There is always a story behind art that I enjoy discovering. I also like exploring new places whether it's by traveling or watching a documentary.