Bruce Lesley President

Mr. Lesley has more than 25 years of public policy experience at all levels of government and a demonstrated commitment to making children’s lives better. Lesley directs all aspects of policy development and internal operations at First Focus.

In 12 years on Capitol Hill, Lesley worked on health care, education, human services, and immigration issues in several different capacities. Prior to his work at First Focus, he served as Senior Health Policy Advisor on the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. He also worked for U.S. Senator Bob Graham on the Senate Finance Committee, served as minority Chief of Staff for the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and was a legislative aide in the offices of U.S. Representatives Ronald Coleman and Diana DeGette.

In addition to public service at the federal level, Lesley worked at the state and county levels of government on health and human services policy for Texas State Representative Mary Polk, El Paso County Judge Pat F. O’Rourke, and Texas Governor Ann Richards in the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations in Washington, D.C.

Lesley has also worked in the healthcare sector as the Director of Congressional Relations for the Children's Hospitals of America (also known as the National Association of Children’s Hospitals) and as Director of Government Relations for University Medical Center, a public hospital in El Paso, Texas. Lesley holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland University College, in College Park, Maryland. He also attended the University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at Austin.

Bruce resides in Maryland with his wife and four children.

Resources by Bruce Lesley


Medicaid Block Grants: A System of Rationing, Inequity, and Harm

| November 21, 2016 |

Medicaid, in partnership with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), has led the way in helping to cut the nation’s uninsured rate dramatically. This


Children Need Us Now, More Than Ever

| November 14, 2016 |

In focus groups in Des Moines, Iowa, and Las Vegas, Nevada, a few years ago, voters were asked what their top issues were, but


For Our Democracy, Let’s Make Facts Matter Again

| October 28, 2016 |

Working in public policy can be rewarding, but it is increasingly frustrating. Progress is stalled due to: · Growing partisanship; · The lack of media attention


Shortchanging Our Children, Our Schools, and Our Future

| October 7, 2016 |

In a new report by the Urban Institute entitled Kids’ Share 2016, the authors found that state and local spending on education declined dramatically


Kids in the Presidential Campaigns: How the Front-runners Stack Up on Children’s Issues

| October 7, 2016 |

YouthToday By Allen Fennewald 9/7/16 James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, sent a letter Wednesday to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC


Child Poverty Should ‘Scar Our Conscience’

| September 29, 2016 |

This was originally published at the Huffington Post. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 percent of our nation’s children lived in poverty in


Medicaid Per Capita Caps: A Terrible Twist on a Bad Idea

| September 18, 2016 |

Huffington Post By Bruce Lesley 9/18/16 For 35 years now, Medicaid has had to fend off repeated efforts to slash its funding by converting


Medicaid Per Capita Caps: A Terrible Twist on a Bad Idea

| September 18, 2016 |

For 35 years now, Medicaid has had to fend off repeated efforts to slash its funding by utttinonverting it into a block grant. This


Congress May Be at Recess, but Advocates Still Hard at Work

| September 6, 2016 |

Youth Today By Allen Fennewald 9/6/2016 When Congress adjourns for recess, youth welfare advocates often take a break during the summer. However, with the presidential


Embrace Our Nation’s Diversity and Youth, Not Walls

| September 5, 2016 |

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. — Maya Angelou Despite my growing