Executive Director, White House Initiative on
Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
Leslie Sanchez looks at her career as a "typical Latina journey." It began in the early 1900s, with her grandfather's emigration from Mexico, continued to see her selling encyclopedias door-to-door to work her way through college, and eventually took her to her new post as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
As director, Sanchez is privileged to work with a Presidential Advisory Commission to advise President Bush and the Secretary of Education on the educational needs of Hispanic students. In addition, she is charged with forging alliances between public and private sector organizations to develop outreach programs that reach broad audiences and increase the educational attainment level of Hispanic Americans.
Named one of "100 Most Influential Hispanics" in October 2001 by Hispanic Business magazine, Sanchez formerly directed the Republican National Committee's Hispanic marketing effort for the 2000 elections, which included a 12-state multi-million dollar advertising campaign. She previously served as a legislative aide to U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla (R-TX), where she assisted the Congressman in his work as a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, monitoring appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, Treasury and Transportation. While on Capitol Hill, she served as co-director of the Congressional Border Caucus where she worked with congressional leaders on legislation affecting the U.S.-Mexico border. She also initiated efforts with the office of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert to launch a Hispanic communications plan focused on building targeted outreach strategies for House Republicans.
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and raised in Houston, Leslie has held a number of positions throughout the Washington D.C. area, including that of a marketing consultant to a high tech company and a number of positions in public relations. She has appeared regularly as a commentator on the Fox News Channel and has been featured on National Public Radio, Univision, and America's Voice. She is a veteran of various local, state and federal political campaigns and served on the Board of the Hispanic Youth Foundation.
In 2001 Sanchez was selected for the 4th Annual Young Hispanic Leaders Program where she earned a diploma at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo in Santander, Spain. She is a graduate of The George Washington University and earned a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University.