Leslie is an international development activist, a strategic communications executive, political consultant, and philanthropist who has spent much of the last two decades engaged in activities that focus on building health and health systems as a means of supporting the development of global communities. He joins Georgetown as a distinguished professor of the practice on the adjunct track in the School of Health’s Department of Global Health. As a graduate of the School of Foreign Service, Leslie returns to the Hilltop with a new purpose.
"I’m thrilled to return to Georgetown and contribute to the critically important role the university plays in global health.”
Leslie began his career as an aide to Senator Edward Kennedy, serving as his political director and as executive director of the Fund for a Democratic Majority. He joined Sawyer Miller Group, a prominent political consulting firm, in 1983 and became president of the company in 1985. During the 1980s and 1990s, Leslie provided political counsel to dozens of presidential and statewide campaigns in the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. He later became chairman of Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications network that delivers next-generation solutions to brands, businesses, and organizations in major markets around the world.
In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Leslie to the U.S. African Development Foundation’s Board of Directors, and he became its chairman in 2009 during President Barack Obama’s administration. The U.S. Senate reconfirmed his position in 2016. That year, he was also appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.
Bazira, who also serves as director of Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Practice and Impact, welcomes opportunities to grow GHI’s network of advisors, elevate its visibility, and strengthen its philanthropic portfolio.
“Mr. Leslie brings a wealth of experience that will be greatly beneficial as we all work collectively to catalyze and amplify Georgetown’s global health work.”
In addition to this new senior advisor role, GHI plans to form a faculty advisory committee and external advisory council—all to support Georgetown’s collective global health research, education, and action in communities across the world.