Todd Lester has worked in leadership, advocacy and strategic communications roles at Reporters sans frontiers, the Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation, Queer/Art and most recently as the Executive Director of the Global Arts Corps, an organization that creates theatre to advance reconciliation in societies emerging from violent conflict. Before that, he consulted for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Fonds BKVB, Lambent Foundation, and the Arts Collaboratory, and currently serves on the boards of artist and literary residencies in India and Mexico as well as the advisory committee for Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Arts & Culture Fellowship. He founded freeDimensional and the Creative Resistance Fund, an organization that helps activists-in-distress by providing safe haven in artist residencies. He has dedicated periods of his career to work on microfinance in Cameroon, refugee rights in Egypt, post-genocide reconciliation in Rwanda, Track II diplomacy in the Southern Caucasus, at-risk youth engagement in Brazil, and the North-South Peace Accord in Sudan working with organizations such as CARE, International Rescue Committee, Carter Center, Peace Corps, Population Services International, Dutch Refugee Council, and the United Nations. Todd holds a Masters of Public Administration from Rutgers University and diplomas from the Summer School in Forced Migration at Oxford University and Film & Media Studies at the New School. Todd received the Peace Corps Fund Award for founding freeDimensional; was named Architect of the Future by the Waldzell Institute; and serves as a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute where he leads the Arts-Policy Nexus initiative. His new project, Lanchonete is a 5-year experiment in artistic witnessing focused on a neighborhood in the center of São Paulo.
This whole website is meant to operate as a curriculum vitae; for information from the period just before I launched the site, click here for my arts and culture work.