Lee Bey

Lee Bey is executive director of the Chicago Central Area Committee, an influential civic group composed of the business and cultural leaders devoted to improving the architecture, transportation, cultural life and urban design of downtown Chicago.

Bey is also a writer, adviser, professor and critic specializing in architecture, urbanism and the role politics play in the creation of the built environment.
Before joining the Central Area Committee, Bey was director of governmental affairs for the Chicago office of architectural giant Skidmore Owings & Merrill. In this role, he served as chief governmental expert and an in-house consultant on urban design issues. Prior to joining SOM, Bey was deputy chief of staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, a position in which he advised the mayor on architecture and urban planning while helping shape the administration’s position on development, lakefront protection, park construction and architectural preservation. He also helped oversee major redevelopment efforts such as the $660 million Soldier Field renovation.

Before joining the mayor’s office in 2001, Bey was an award-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. His weekly full-page column examined architecture in Chicago and the Midwest.