David Lee has been appointed the new director and general manager of WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee’s NPR. He joins WUWM as the station and the NPR Network ecosystem continue their important work to leverage longstanding strengths while exploring innovative ways to reach new audiences. Lee succeeds John Hess, who had served as general manager of WUWM since 2020.
Lee is well-known in Milwaukee for his work in the nonprofit sector. He comes to WUWM from The Ascension Wisconsin Foundation, where he served as chief philanthropy officer, leading philanthropic efforts for Milwaukee’s safety net hospital system.
Prior to his role at Ascension, Lee was the inaugural chief executive officer at Imagine MKE, where he helped harness the power of Milwaukee’s arts and culture community to advocate for a more thriving and vibrant region. Before Imagine MKE, Lee was the founding executive director of Feeding Wisconsin, where he helped grow Wisconsin’s statewide collaboration of regional food banks.
As WUWM’s general manager, Lee will provide leadership and vision for a public radio station that delivers local and national news coverage and cultural programming to 102,000 listeners weekly in southeastern Wisconsin. WUWM is a listener-funded radio station licensed to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and operated by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Letters & Science.
“We are excited to have David take the lead as general manager of WUWM,” said Nigel Rothfels, acting dean of the College of Letters & Science. “His extraordinary background in Wisconsin’s nonprofit sector, his experience in focusing resources on the needs of vulnerable communities, and his widely recognized skills in developing dynamic and collaborative work environments will be critical to the ongoing success of WUWM. David is keenly aware of the roles that both UWM and WUWM play in Milwaukee, and I believe he will be a visionary next leader of Milwaukee’s NPR affiliate.”
Lee begins his tenure as general manager on March 27.