Jason Yongwoo Lee

Jason Yongwoo Lee

Professional with 5 years’ experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis. Pursuing master’s degree to address water resource planning, common pool resources, decision-making under uncertainty, and water rights policy in the U.S. West.  

What is your previous work experience?
I was lucky to write for the local paper, the Independent Weekly, right out of undergrad. I feel like I spent the next four years of my life thinking about the things I saw, heard, and thought and wrote about here in the Triangle. After I left, I worked in marketing and sales for a tech startup, then I taught SAT prep for the Princeton Review. For the past one and a half years though I’ve been in D.C., working for a semi-famous indie bookstore called Politics & Prose, as a bookseller and as a finance associate.

Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
The Nicholas School stood out for its forward-thinking spirit. There was an obvious excitement to explore innovative and interdisciplinary solutions. Plus I was ecstatic about getting back to Durham!

Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I'm interested in why people make the environmental decisions that they do. What are the institutions or incentives at play, and how could we make them better? For instance, could we use behavioral/experimental economics like healthcare has? Or have institutional designs that leverage local social or cultural practices? In my ideal future, everyone will be an environmentalist even if they don't know it.

What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I'm most excited about hearing what my classmates have to say about environmental problems and solutions, and why they ended up at the Nicholas School. My undergrad majors were English literature and Economics, and with my winding journey here I'm arriving with certain perspectives that are only a slice of the full set of perspectives. That's the beauty and challenge of environmental problems, that they're so complex and broadly relevant that we need talented people from all over.

What are you doing this summer before you arrive at the Nicholas School?
Living as ideal a normal life as possible. Doing my 9-5 routine, reading books, board game nights with friends, playing violin, photography, going to museums and concerts… All the things that will get squeezed to the margins for the next 2 years. 

Career Interests

Environmental markets

Employment Sought:


Master of Environmental Management, May 2018
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University, Durham, NC
Environmental Economics and Policy GPA: 3.85
Norm L. Christensen, Jr. Fellow (selective  merit  scholarship) 
Coursework: Environmental and Resource Economics, Water Finance & Planning, Environmental Law, Collective Action, Behavioral Decision Theory, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Program Evaluation, Ecosystem Services 
Leadership: Duke University Graduate & Professional Student Council – Nicholas School Representative, Physical and Mental Health Task Force Member, Duke University Council for the Arts Graduate Student Representative 
Rutgers University, Dec 2014
New Brunswick, NJ
Coursework: Sustainable Environmental Management, Politics of Environmental Issues, Principles of Ecology, Biological Principles of Environmental Science, Global Change Ecology (GPA: 4.0). 
Bachelor of Arts, May 2011
Duke University, Durham, NC
English, Economics
GPA: 3.5  

Professional Experience

Environmental Consultant, Duke Law School Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, Durham, NC
Conducting several cost-benefit analyses using Excel for lead testing in schools and daycares, testing of pregnant women, and mandatory lead registry of rental properties. Preparing strategy memos on best available economics and policy research to persuade state lawmakers. Jan. 2017 – current
Student Researcher, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, Durham, NC
Producing ecosystem services analysis of increasing hydropower capacity in Bhutan. Using STATA for program evaluation of impacts of water management schemes in the U.S. West on water quality. Wrote literature review: “An Assessment of Behavior Decision Research in Environmental Policy”. Sept. 2016 – current
Project Innovator​, Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators, Keep Durham Beautiful Anti-Littering Initiative, Durham, NC
Produced low cost, high-efficacy deliverables: a literature review of anti-littering strategies, a mock behavior-change advertisement using Adobe Photoshop, a community outreach strategy, and Powerpoint presentation for policymakers. Worked independently, setting own objectives and deliverables, in alignment with broad directives from project leader.  Sept. 2016 – Dec. 2016
Finance Associate / Bookseller, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Created financial reports, maintained financial records, and compiled documentation of accounting items. Operated a branch under own supervision, including accounting, customer service, and shipping and receiving. March 2015 – July 2016
Research Assistant, Rutgers University Dept. of Human Ecology, New Brunswick, NJ
Conducted a literature review of hedonic regression studies of housing preferences and sea level rise on the New Jersey coast, thereby contributing to Dr. Karen O’Neill’s National Science Foundation grant. Oct. 2014 – Dec. 2014
Freelance Writer, The Independent Weekly, Durham, NC
Researched, interviewed for, and wrote a 1000-word news article each week on such varied subjects and issues as Asian American identities at Duke, mega-landfills, urban foxes, creative reuse centers, and nuclear evacuation routes. June 2011 – Feb. 2013

Award ● Norman L. Christensen, Jr. Fellow

Hometown ● Belle Mead, New Jersey

Undergraduate Institute ● Duke University


cost-benefit analysis
environmental economics
excel modeling
water resources management

Graduation Date

May 2018

Additional Resources



Preferred Location


Preferred Sector

Non-profit / NGO
Research Institute / Think Tank