Traci Lester


Traci Lester joins The Center for Fiction as Executive Director after a 25-year career in the nonprofit sector. Most recently she was Executive Director of National Dance Institute (NDI) an arts education organization founded by legendary dancer Jacques d’Amboise in the belief that every child should have access to learning in and through the arts. Prior to NDI, she held other leadership roles most notably as the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, an early literacy, school readiness program.

Traci has been recognized by the Manhattan Borough President as a Cultural Leader in New York City. She is the recipient of the American Association of University Women’s Selected Professions Fellowship, the National Association of Health Service Executive’s Community Service Award, and was named to TheGrio’s 100 List as an African-American history maker and industry leader in the field of education. She is also a member of the Greater New York Association of Fundraising Professionals and the American Society for Public Administrators Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society.

She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, a Master of Public Administration from California State University and holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University’s Institute for Nonprofit Management.

Photo Credit: Melanie Einzig