Renowned physician becomes organization’s eighth president and CEO—and its first non-white leader
By Jason LangendorfFebruary 25, 2021
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation announced today that it will name Joseph Lee, M.D., its eighth president and CEO, effective June 28.
Lee, the medical director for Hazelden Betty Ford’s Youth Continuum since 2010, will succeed Mark G. Mishek in the organization’s role of president and CEO.
“Dr. Lee is a generational talent who will be a pioneering leader for Hazelden Betty Ford and the field of addiction treatment for years to come,” said Lester Munson, who chairs the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s board of trustees. “At this important juncture in the history of our nation, industry and organization, our board decided that a physician CEO would be best for our future. We’re excited about Dr. Lee’s record of innovation, clinical excellence, patient-centered care and ethical, values-based leadership, as well as his exceptional abilities to think and communicate strategically, lift up other voices and inspire hope, passion and commitment.”
I am profoundly humbled and grateful to our board of trustees for the honor of carrying forward Hazelden Betty Ford’s incredible legacy as a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction.”—Joseph Lee, newly named Hazelden CEO
Joseph Lee: Hazelden’s First Non-White CEO
Lee, 45, despite extensive experience in addiction medicine and child and adolescent psychiatry, will be the youngest CEO in the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s 72-year history. Lee, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Seoul, South Korea, also will be the first physician and first non-white leader to guide the organization.
“I am profoundly humbled and grateful to our board of trustees for the honor of carrying forward Hazelden Betty Ford’s incredible legacy as a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction,” Lee said. “Thanks to Mark Mishek’s leadership these past 13 years, Hazelden Betty Ford has evolved into a growing force within, rather than on the periphery of, healthcare, helping exponentially more people as a result.”
Lee is an active member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and serves on the board of the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation, a philanthropic organization with $1.6 billion in charitable assets.
Mark Mishek: An Exemplary Career
Mishek, who was named president and CEO of Hazelden in August 2008 and officially assumed the role in November 2008, became president and CEO of the newly formed Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation with the merger of Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center in February 2014. Mishek oversaw the growth of an organization that now provides care to more than 25,000 patients annually—more than double than when he assumed his duties.
“On the heels of Mark’s extraordinary contributions,” Munson said, “Dr. Lee is the ideal leader to guide us into a new frontier of innovation and healthcare excellence and to lift up new voices and broaden the banner of the organization’s reach, influence and impact.”