Lee will serve as managing director of international content and talent for ABC Entertainment Group, reporting to ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee (no relation). Keli Lee’s promotion adds to the steady stream of formerly U.S.-based execs who are planting flags overseas to tap into new pools of talent.
Keli Lee will work closely with Samie Falvey, ABC’s exec VP of comedy and international scripted development and ABC Studios exec VP Patrick Moran on development prospects. With Lee’s move to London, Ayo Davis has been tapped to serve as ABC’s interim head of casting.
“Keli will play a critical role helping ABC identify new opportunities for talent and content around the world,” Paul Lee said. “She has a keen eye and a proven track record when it comes to emerging talent.”
Keli Lee’s focus will expand beyond actors to writers, directors, producers and program formats. The executive has been a force in ABC’s various diversity and talent development initiatives. The ABC Discovers program she spearheaded to find emerging acting talent helped give big career boosts to such notables as Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, Jesse Williams, Randall Park, Cornelius Smith Jr. and Dania Ramirez.
Lee has been with ABC since 1991 and served as exec VP of casting since 2005.