Inspiring Change: Dr Donald Lee’s Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability

We recently had the honour of hosting Dr Donald Lee, an esteemed alumnus from the Class of 1959 at Garden International School. He brings with him a wealth of experience and a fervent passion for driving positive change in the world.

Throughout his impressive 20-year tenure at the UN, Dr Lee has been a tireless advocate for various critical causes including climate action, human rights, and social justice. His dedication to environmentally sustainable development, coupled with his commitment to eradicating poverty and defending the dignity of those in need, underscores his remarkable contribution to global progress.

As a motivational speaker, his message resonates deeply with audiences worldwide. He champions issues ranging from climate change and environmental protection to veganism and animal rights. Serving as President of the ATD Fourth World International Movement, an organisation dedicated to fighting poverty, and as a Trustee of The Vegan Society, Dr Lee embodies the spirit of activism and compassion.

One of Dr Lee’s significant initiatives is his involvement in organising the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty commemoration at the UN headquarters in New York since 2000. His unwavering dedication to addressing poverty and hunger on a global scale underscores his commitment to building a more equitable and just world.

During his recent visit to GIS, Dr Lee engaged our students and staff in a thought-provoking talk on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) touching on pressing issues such as global temperature rise, rising sea levels, and the impact of changes in the hydrological cycle. His insights were both fascinating and sobering, prompting our community to reflect on the urgency of addressing these complex challenges.


We were heartened to witness our students’ serious engagement and enthusiasm for driving positive change, reflecting Dr Lee’s profound impact as a mentor and role model. His return to GIS and his continued dedication to raising awareness among the younger generation are testaments to his enduring commitment to fostering sustainability and social responsibility.

We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr Donald Lee for his invaluable contributions and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place. His exemplary leadership and passion for social change inspire us all to strive for a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.


Dr Donald Lee, Class of 1959

Economist and Activist for Social Change

MSc in Economics and PhD in Economics at UCL


A huge ‘Thank You’ to these inspiring Alumni, who generously shared their time and experiences with our students, despite their busy daily schedules. If you are interested in sharing your journey post-GIS, then please get in touch with us at – We are always updating our page with news from the Alumni community across the continents and would love to hear from you and share your stories. Please get in touch via Facebook, or LinkedIn. We can’t wait to hear from you!