2016 Recent Alumni Achievement Award Recipient
Lee Schaffler '01
Lee Schaffler ‘01 is an Executive Director in the Global Real Assets Group at J.P. Morgan Asset Management where he oversees a portfolio of wholly owned and joint venture commercial real estate investments across the U.S. Lee advises, and invests on behalf of, institutional clients such as pension funds and endowments & foundations. Lee works on numerous property types including retail, multifamily, office and mixed-use, and in both equity and mezzanine debt positions. With his background in portfolio construction, Lee helps to serve clients, and ultimately the retirees and endowment beneficiaries who are the end-recipients of the assets. Lee is involved with everything from acquisitions and asset management to financing, ground-up development, and dispositions. He implements strategic plans and sustainability initiatives. Lee is an active member of ICSC, a real estate industry trade group, and was appointed Chairman of the ICSC NOI+ Conference, an annual investment conference for owners, operators, and developers of retail real estate assets, and attended by senior industry executives. Lee founded and oversees JPMorgan Global Real Assets’ Lunch & Learn Series, a continuing education program highlighting industry speakers and timely content.
Lee earned a Bachelor’s degree in Policy Analysis and Management (and its precursor major Consumer Economics and Housing) from the College of Human Ecology in 2001. Lee took an interest in commercial real estate early on, both in his coursework at Cornell and while observing a mentor who was a private practitioner in the field. Lee’s interest in the built environment was piqued further after serving as a Teaching Assistant his senior year in Professor Gary Evans’s DEA 150 Human-Environment Relations course. Lee credits these early lessons on density and transit-oriented development with a lifelong interest in real estate and sustainable development. While still an undergraduate, Lee got his first real management experience when he was selected for a coveted manager spot running a number of different businesses at Student Agencies, Inc., an independent student-run company. While at Cornell, Lee was the President of the Pre-Law Society. Lee was a dedicated volunteer in the Cornell chapter of Best Buddies International as well as serving as Philanthropy Chairman of his Chi Psi Fraternity.
Lee is proud to have served on the Human Ecology Alumni Association (HEAA) Board from 2005 to 2009. He maintains a close relationship with the College of Human Ecology and mentors and hosts students for an annual externship. Lee currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Cornell University Hillel. Lee is also a past Committee Chairperson for Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network. Lee has served on the American Cancer Society Friends Committee and as captain in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks. Lee was a member of the Young Philanthropists Committee, a NYC-based giving circle tasked with researching and awarding a sizable grant to a deserving charitable organization. Finally, Lee has been a featured speaker at the annual G.A.M.E Investment Conference for students interested in the Investment Management profession.
In 2010 Lee earned a Masters degree from Columbia University, and was the recipient of the William F. Kinne Research Fellowship Award. He was selected to be a Teaching Assistant at Columbia, and has been a guest lecturer for a number of years at the school’s Lunchbox Lecture series. In his professional life, Lee is a CFA charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute (CFAI) and the NY Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA). Lee holds the LEED GA designation from the US Green Building Council. Lee has run the NYC Marathon and completed numerous Triathlons while raising money for various charities. He and his wife recently completed the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu in Peru. Later this year, Lee hopes to raise money for a leading environmental sustainability charity via a 5-day, 300 mile bike ride.