Chris Lester

Brands must be simple to be understood, believed in to motivate, governed to stay true, and trustworthy to be worthwhile.

Chris Lester leads CHIEF’s strategic and creative initiatives bringing his unique vision and energy to building brands that shape perceptions and create powerful outcomes. As founder of the CHIEF brand and strategic lead on significant global engagements, Mr. Lester serves as a strategic brand advisor to leading boards and executive teams worldwide. He has been instrumental in brand development for Disney, Newman’s Own Foundation, Sandals Resorts, Hilton, General Wesley Clark, YWCA and Howard University, among others.

Mr. Lester is a sought after keynote speaker and presenter sharing his passion for brands and the Influence of Perception. His speaking engagements have taken him from the Middle East and South America, to the Caribbean and beyond. He was among a select group of leaders, which included 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus invited to speak on non-profit development in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He has lectured at Pratt Institute, Howard University, American University and other leading institutions. He is a frequent guest expert for local media and has been featured in numerous publications.

Mr. Lester received his education at the Pratt Institute, NY, with a focus on design and brand that has influenced every aspect of his career.


Early years were in West Africa and Iran—DC is home.

Noteworthy Story or Next Adventure

Riding in a matatu that got turned over during a protest in Nairobi, Kenya.

Favorite App/Book/Pub

Too many to list. Currently rereading classics and keeping current on industry and world events.

DC Go-to's

Smithsonian galleries in the morning before they’re crowded.