Sophia Lee named chief of staff
Following a national search by Diversified Search Group, Lee joins the university as its new chief of staff.
Sophia Lee, LAW ’00, ’04, a longtime Philadelphia-area lawyer and current partner in the litigation practice at Blank Rome LLP, has been named Temple University’s chief of staff, President Jason Wingard announced Friday, Oct. 28. Her appointment was confirmed by the Board of Trustees at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
In addition to her current role at Blank Rome, Lee also served as the firm’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. She has handled complex litigation and regulatory matters for a variety of institutions and has helped lead the firm’s service capabilities in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns. Recently, Lee served as trial counsel for Governor Tom Wolf, the secretary of education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education in a high-profile constitutional case regarding the fair funding of public education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She also previously worked for Sunoco Inc., where she helped to establish the company’s litigation department and directed litigation strategy for a nationwide portfolio of matters.
Lee is active in the civic and charitable community, with significant experience on the boards of nonprofit and municipal organizations and in leadership roles for professional and bar associations. She is a thought leader and frequent speaker on matters involving DEI and ESG and serves as an adjunct professor at the Beasley School of Law. Lee has been recognized by, among others, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal and The Legal Intelligencer, and has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer since 2017.
“Sophia is a proven executive leader, whose distinguished legal career has spanned both the law firm and corporate settings, and I am eager to welcome her as my chief of staff,” President Wingard said. “As an alumna of the Beasley School of Law, she already has a deep love for this institution but even more importantly than that, she understands the key role that Temple plays as Philadelphia’s public university. The entire Temple community will reap the benefits of having someone of her stature in this key role.”
Within this new role, Lee will help oversee daily university operations while also working closely with other members of Temple’s administration to help lead and implement various strategic initiatives across the university. Lee’s appointment as chief of staff comes at an ideal time as President Wingard and Temple leadership recently announced the five strategic priorities that will drive the institution moving forward.
“As a first-generation college student and a Temple Law graduate, I know from personal experience the lifelong and transformative opportunities a Temple education offers,” Lee shared. “I am honored and proud to be rejoining the university in this new role at a time when President Wingard and the university’s leadership are prioritizing boundless access, educational value, thought leadership, community engagement and excellence to further elevate Temple’s renown locally, nationally and globally. I am excited to draw upon my professional experiences and civic engagement to further Temple’s commitment to progress, innovation and inclusion, and look forward to making purposeful impact on all the constituencies we serve.”
Prior to rejoining Blank Rome, where she began her legal career, Lee served as a federal judicial law clerk and as an associate at Reed Smith LLP.
Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University. She is also a two-time Temple Made graduate, as she graduated from the Beasley School of Law with a JD and an LLM in trial advocacy.