The 2016 Top 25 Consultants: Daniel Hae-Dong Lee

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Daniel Hae-Dong Lee Censeo Consulting Group Excellence in Public Sector 

Dr. Daniel Hae-Dong Lee is widely renowned as a thought leader, making frequent appearances speaking at key technology and innovation conferences, delivering guest lectures at universities and publishing practitioner-oriented articles in journals and conference proceedings. His storied career includes stints as a principal at BCG, as well as time spent at Accenture and IBM. He also leads Censeo’s Education Access practice, an area that has grown significantly due in part to his expertise and leadership. Dr. Lee has led many important partnerships, including with Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and Common Application.

In his time at Common Application, Lee nearly doubled member confidence scores, reducing support ticket volume by 60 percent, and shortening average support ticket response time from eight hours to 10 minutes. Additionally, his data analytics research for Jack Kent Cooke Foundation supported their “True Merit” report, which brought national attention to inequalities in the higher education access process.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Lee cites these and other similar efforts among his proudest achievements over the last 12 months. “I was fortunate to be a part of collaborative efforts in bringing together mission-minded education access organizations including the Common Application, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. With partnerships formed, I feel we were able to take the positive step forward to make a difference in providing equity, access, and integrity in higher education,” he says.

Another aspect of his career that gives Lee particular satisfaction is successfully translating skills he learned and homed in the field into the government and non-profit realm. “Being able to support mission-driven federal agencies (e.g., Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of State) and non-profit organizations using the business and consulting skill sets that I acquired from working with private-sector industries.”

When asked what motivates him to excel, Lee said it’s the feeling that comes from seeing his ideas turned into real solutions that help companies solve complex challenges. “In addition to seeing immediate and tactical improvements, getting a shot at witnessing long-term impacts motivates me. It is gratifying to see that my “two cents” can be used to help organizations with nobler goals than just financial statement/bottom-line,” he says.

As for what keeps him in the profession, Lee says he enjoys the problem-solving aspect of engagements, especially when the problems have not been addressed before. He also enjoys the collaborative nature of consulting, working through solutions with his team and colleagues.

Winning a Top 25 award, Lee says, is an especially big honor. “I feel humbled that I now have won the award that my mentors have won before. And I’m deeply honored having received my former and current clients’ support for this award.”

What’s the biggest factor to your success?

“Having a great team and supportive colleagues. I oftentimes say to my team, ‘You do all the work, and I end up taking all the credit.’ Some thought I was just making light-hearted comments, but I really wasn’t kidding. Without their support and dedication, I would not have made it this far.”

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