Immigration and Asylum
Natural Disaster Response
Art and Culture
Todd Lester has worked in leadership, advocacy and strategic communications roles at Reporters sans frontiers, the Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation, 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. He founded freeDimensional & the Creative Resistance Fund, an organization that helps activists-in-distress by providing safe haven in artist residencies.
Todd Lester is currently the Executive Director of Global Arts Corps, an organization that creates theatre to advance reconciliation in societies emerging from violent conflict. Previously, he founded freeDimensional, an organization that supports activists and artists-in-distress by providing safe haven in artist residencies. Todd has worked in advocacy and strategic communications positions with Reporters sans frontiers and the Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation, both in New York, and the International Rescue Committee in Sudan during the height of the Darfur crisis and signing of the country’s North-South Peace Accords. 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 experimentation of artistic witnessing focused on a neighborhood in the center of São Paulo.
Gerhart Center for Philanthropy & Civic Engagement, Fellow; Center for Migration & Refugee Studies, Fellow
Summer School on the Cultural Study of the Law, Institute for English & American Studies, 2009
Member, 21st Century Trust and Think Tank 30 of the Club of Rome
Waldzell Institute ‘Architect for the Future’
Keynote speaker at TPAM / Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama on the theme of “What is an ‘Accident’ of a Nuclear Plant? An Analysis & Forecast on new modes of sharing,” February 13-19, 2012.