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Harry Lesesne

Investment Committee, Chair

Harry Lesesne is the president of the Darla Moore Foundation. In that role, he oversees all Foundation operations and grantmaking.

Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as the Executive Director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy for nearly 8 years. He led the Conservancy to more than double its annual revenue and significantly expanded its programming, including major renovations of Colonial Lake, Hampton Park, and many other parks and playgrounds, the creation of three major community vegetable gardens, and a comprehensive program of community engagement and cultural events.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, he served as Senior Advisor to Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., where he was responsible for advising the mayor on all aspects of city government.

In his career, he has served as an officer in the United States Army and South Carolina Army National Guard, South Carolina Director for The Conservation Fund, Associate Director of the University of South Carolina Bicentennial, and Research Assistant Professor of Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina. He is the author or editor of two books, including A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940-2000.

He has served on the boards of numerous community organizations in Charleston, including the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Gaillard Center. In addition to his service on the Conservancy board of directors, he currently serves as vice-chair of the City of Charleston Planning Commission, and on the board of the Friends of the Lowcountry LowLine.

A graduate of Duke University, he earned a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in History from the University of South Carolina.