Linda Lees is director and founder of Creative Cities International (CCI), a consultancy based in New York and London that taps into expertise from around the world to foster the goal of sustainable urban regeneration. Since 2002, she has led CCI in partnering with urban experts on the vitality of cities, organizing international conferences and public forums on cities, culture, and regeneration. In 2011, CCI published the ground-breaking Vitality Index™, which created an entirely new paradigm for evaluating cities and culture. Her substantial experience in culture and the arts includes founding a theatre in Washington, DC, where she directed the American premiere of Manuel Puig’s Under A Mantle of Stars and the international premiere of Joseph Brodsky’s Democracy!. She headed a humanities department at NYU and lead the cultural affairs office of the British Council in New York City. She has spoken on behalf of CCI and the Vitality Index™ at conferences in Copenhagen, Berlin, London, Istanbul, Doha, Singapore, and Campinas,Brazil. She serves on the LAMDA in America (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and is a member of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Theatre Arts). She holds a BA from Boston University, an MA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and an MA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.