(Photo Credit: Ralph Alswang)

Penny Lee, Chief Executive Officer

Penny Lee is the CEO of the Financial Technology Association (FTA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating consumers, regulators, policymakers, and industry stakeholders on the value of technology-centered financial services companies. FTA advocates for the modernization of financial regulation to promote inclusion, advance innovation, and allow equitable access to financial services and markets.

Before joining FTA, Lee led the public affairs practice group at Invariant, a leading Washington, D.C. government relations and strategic communications firm. She previously served as Chief Strategy Officer of 1776, a prominent technology incubator and accelerator servicing over 1,200 startups in its network.  Lee developed and formalized the business strategy necessary to execute the company’s priorities internally and externally, with operational authority over the company’s personnel, product, and finances. Additionally, she co-founded and chaired a Washington, D.C.-based angel investment group, K Street Capital, which has invested over $5 million in 45 companies. Lee is passionate about making the tech industry more inclusive, and while Chair of K Street Capital, female or underrepresented founders comprised 32 percent of the portfolio. Her experience also includes serving as Senior Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association, and Communications Director for Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Roles in social impact complement her professional expertise. She maintains leadership and board positions for several D.C. area investment groups and nonprofit organizations, including Black Girl Ventures, Center for American Entrepreneurship, and National Links Trust, an organization seeking to diversify the game of golf by improving accessibility and affordability of municipal golf courses.

Penny graduated from Baylor University with degrees in political science and journalism.