Ms. Leslie has served as LABC President since 2001, growing the council into one of the most prominent business organizations in the region, working closely with leaders from business, government and the non-profit sectors to enact policies and programs to strengthen Los Angeles’ economic competitiveness and quality of life. Under her leadership, she launched the LABC Institute in 2010 as the 501 (c) 3 research and education arm, attracting local and national funding. Both organizations operate with the core mission, focused on creating cutting edge policy strategies to reduce the region’s housing affordability gap, increase sustainable development, promote international trade, and expand high-paying workforce opportunities.
Ms. Leslie currently serves on the LA Cleantech Incubator Board of Directors, Los Angeles Conservation Corporation Board of Directors, UCLA Advisory Committee for the Luskin Center for Innovation, and is a member of the Pacific Council of International Policy. She previously served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board, Advisory Committees of L.A. Family Housing and the California Women’s Law Center.
In her previous role as Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles under Mayor Richard Riordan, Ms. Leslie was responsible for the Mayor’s Business Development programs. Prior to joining the Riordan Administration, she was Deputy Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where she oversaw the Northridge Earthquake relief dollars for Los Angeles as part of her portfolio of lending and education programs for SBA Director Erskine Bowles. She also served as the Executive Director of the California Economic Development Commission, overseeing policy development and trade missions for California business. Ms. Leslie was also President Clinton’s California Finance Director in his successful 1992 race for President.
Ms. Leslie received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Santa Clara, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and attended the Executive Management Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.