Biography: Lisa Lewis Dubois
Lisa Lewis Dubois has served as the First Lady of UNC Charlotte since 2005 and brings warmth, grace and passion to her role as an ambassador. She is the longest-serving First Lady in the University of North Carolina System.
Ms. Dubois has been responsible for all the community relations events held at the Chancellor’s official residence, Bissell House, hosting hundreds of community and business leaders, faculty, staff, and students every year. She has played an important role in improving the quality of life for people both on campus and throughout the Charlotte region.
At UNC Charlotte, Ms. Dubois’ initiatives have strengthened the University’s ties with students and their families. She was instrumental in founding what is now the Office of Parent and Family Services, which enhances communication between parents and the University and creates an inclusive and comfortable environment for parents. She personally supervises and hosts what has become a legendary, sell-out, annual Family Day brunch on campus for hundreds of students and their families. What began as doughnuts and coffee for 50 in 2005 is now a breakfast extravaganza for more than 600.
Because of her tremendous respect and gratitude for veterans and a deep empathy for the sacrifices that they and their families make, Ms. Dubois is dedicated to efforts supporting veterans as they achieve higher education following their military service. One of her signature events at UNC Charlotte is the Women in the Military Luncheon. Through this annual program, she honors and thanks women from the campus community who have served in the military, are currently serving or have families with a service member. The event provides an opportunity for the women to connect with each other and share their experiences.
Ms. Dubois served as chair of the well-known “Let Me Play” luncheon, which attracts hundreds of the Charlotte region’s community leaders and raises funds and awareness for female student athletes at UNC Charlotte.
In the community, Ms. Dubois is recognized as a civic leader, implementing initiatives across the Charlotte region that better the lives of women and children, such as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Summit, which started in 2006. Ms. Dubois, along with Betty Chafin Rash, was a co-founder and co-chair of the summit. Under her leadership, task forces were formed to collect and analyze data in five critical areas, including Women and Health; Women and Politics; and Violence Against Women. Each task force identified indicators that could be used to assess the current status and trends affecting women and girls in each area; defined measures under each indicator; determined if data were available; and identified overlaps with other task forces. Following two years of groundwork, the inaugural Women’s Summit took place in March 2008. During this landmark event, the task forces’ findings were presented to more than 600 business and community leaders, grassroots activists, academicians, and students. Keynote speakers of the 2008 summit included Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author, and commentator Ellen Goodman, and Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T North Carolina.
In 2009, the Women’s Summit launched “The Women’s Summit Economic Impact Series,” a comprehensive, targeted schedule of symposia, workshops, and public forums that addressed the effect of the then-current economic environment on women related to housing, domestic violence, and healthcare; the macro-economic importance of parity in pay for women; and the economic impact of women being involved in the political process.
The leadership of Ms. Dubois was especially important in integrating the Women’s Summit at UNC Charlotte in July 2010. Now known as the Women + Girls Research Alliance, this affiliation provides novel opportunities for funding research and educational activities-- opportunities that were previously unavailable. Currently, the Alliance collaborates with UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute as a Regional Indicators Partner, with faculty and graduate researchers in political science and in the public policy and organizational science doctoral programs.
Ms. Dubois has been dedicated to supporting children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System, serving for six years on the Board of Directors of Communities In Schools of Charlotte- Mecklenburg (CIS), an affiliate of the national Communities In Schools network, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. Ms. Dubois was chair of the CIS board for two years, where she rewrote and updated the governance by-laws and founded the successful and now annual Lowcountry Fundraising Benefit Gala.
She is also a significant supporter of the arts, having served two, three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the Arts and Science Council (ASC). She recently finished a two-year term as chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Art Commission (PAC), but continues as a member. The PAC, a community board comprised of nine members appointed by the city, county, and the ASC, is responsible for the selection of artworks for the city and county, expanding the opportunities for citizens to experience public art throughout the county. As chair, Ms. Dubois represents and speaks on behalf of the PAC at public functions and arts events.
Ms. Dubois holds both an undergraduate and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She was a criminal appellate lawyer with the California Attorney General’s Office, legal counsel to the Speaker of the California State Assembly, and served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Wyoming.
In her spare time, Ms. Dubois enjoys traveling, cooking, and supporting the visual and performing arts.