Ann-Ellen Lesser is a graduate of Barnard College where she studied philosophy. After college she spent ten years at the Calhoun School, an independent school in New York City, where she taught philosophy, chaired the theater program, and was the Director of Admissions. In late 1973 when the people advising Norma Millay were ready to incorporate the Millay Colony for the Arts, Lesser was made Executive Director. In the succeeding years, she has managed the development of Millay’s program and the growth of its facilities, including Millay’s universal design efforts. Lesser has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.