Born in Columbus Ohio, May Lee has been a broadcast journalist for three decades. In 1995 she joined CNN in Tokyo as the first Korean-American correspondent– and at 28, the network's youngest. Lee told Start TV, "I've never covered such incredible stories, from breaking news stories to cultural stories, and everything in between."
By 1997, she became the main anchor for CNN International in Hong Kong. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1999, Lee hosted her own talk show on the Oxygen Network called Pure Oxygen.
In 2003, she became an anchor at CNBC Asia in Singapore. While there, she started her own media production and consulting company, Lotus Media House, and in 2007, she launched The May Lee Show, a talk show aimed at Asian women. She also authored the book May Lee Live and in Person: It All Begins with Passion. "I will proudly say: I feel like I was a trailblazer,” Lee said.
May is currently an adjunct professor at USC and a prominent voice in the effort to combat anti-Asian hate that exploded due to COVID-19. At the start of 2020, May’s production company partnered with NextShark, the leading Asian online news source, to launch “The May Lee Show” online. Recognized for her powerful voice for Asian Americans, May was named one of Forbes 50 Over 50 women leading the way in impact July 2021. May has been working with various organizations, companies and media outlets to raise more awareness of AAPI history and experiences.
Find out why May Lee believes finding a mentor is crucial for broadcast journalists: