Bruce Lesley President

Mr. Lesley has more than 30 years of public policy experience at all levels of government and a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives and well-being of children. Lesley has served as the president of First Focus on Children since 2006 and directs policy development and internal operations at the organization. He also serves as an assistant high school girls basketball coach in Montgomery County, Maryland.

During his 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 on Children, 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 Hospital Association (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 of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland University College, in College Park, Maryland, and earned an M.A. in Political Psychology from Arizona State University. He also attended the University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at Austin.

Bruce resides in Maryland with his wife and has four adult children.

Resources by Bruce Lesley

Children Are Not Little Adults: Ensuring Adequate Pediatric Emergency Care in U.S. Hospitals

| December 5, 2023 |

As a parent, there is perhaps nothing more terrifying than the helplessness felt when your child is gravely ill or injured. The rush to

Podcast: Money Matters with Dr. Kirabo Jackson

| November 29, 2023 |

In this episode, our hosts Bruce Lesley and Messellech “Selley” Looby welcome Dr. C. Kirabo Jackson, a researcher, professor, journal editor, and member of

Podcast: Defending Public Education with Arnie Fege

| November 15, 2023 |

In this episode, our hosts Bruce Lesley and Messellech “Selley” Looby chat with children’s activist Arnold “Arnie” Fege about the importance of defending public

Podcast: Creating a Children-First Mindset in Policy and Society with Adam Benforado

| November 1, 2023 |

In this episode, our hosts Bruce Lesley and Messellech “Selley” Looby chat with law professor Adam Benforado about the lack of attention paid to

Podcast: Who’s for Kids, and Who’s Just Kidding? with Celinda Lake

| October 18, 2023 |

In this episode, our hosts Bruce Lesley and Messellech “Selley” Looby chat with pollster and political strategist Celinda Lake. Lake is President and Founder

From Cradle to Limbo: The Immediate and Long-term Dangers of Repealing Birthright Citizenship for Children

| October 17, 2023 |

Birthright citizenship, enshrined by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, has stood as a pillar of inclusivity since its ratification in 1868. It reads:

Podcast: Introducing Speaking Of Kids…

| October 11, 2023 |

In this introductory episode of Speaking of Kids, co-hosts Bruce Lesley and Messellech “Selley” Looby discuss the fact that children are often an afterthought in

Congress Is Shortchanging Children

| September 27, 2023 |

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021, Congress made unprecedented investments in children, as the share of federal spending on kids rose

Vital Programs Protecting and Saving Children from HIV/AIDS Will Expire September 30th Absent Immediate Congressional Action

| September 25, 2023 |

Mary (not her real name) was just a girl of eight when her mother fell ill. So ill that her mom no longer had

Recognizing Children in the Debate Over Education and Schools

| March 31, 2023 |

As a child advocate, it is deeply frustrating to people in our community that issues of great importance to children, such as education, are