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Leah Joy Zell is the treasurer of the American Academy in Berlin and chairs the finance committee. She has been a trustee since 2017.

Zell is the president of the Joy Foundation, a family-controlled philanthropic organization. She was founder of Lizard Investors, an asset management business based in Chicago that invests in international small-cap equities. From 1992 to 2005, she was co-founding partner and portfolio manager at Wanger Asset Management, a global small- to mid-cap equity specialist now owned by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial.

Additional nonprofit affiliations include board member and finance committee chair of the International Rescue Committee, ad hoc member the Aspen Strategy Group, member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, and Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Center for European Studies. Previously, Zell served on the Harvard Board of Overseers and the Board of Trustees of the German Marshall Fund.

Zell received her BA and PhD from Harvard University, specializing in modern European history. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

She resides in Aspen, Colorado, and New York City.

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