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 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’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


Junk the Cadillac Tax

| June 24, 2019 |

Our nation is not suffering from a condition of having too much insurance coverage. A recent series by Noah Levey in the Los Angeles Times highlights how the


The 2018 Congressional Champions for Children

| May 8, 2019 |

The 115th Congress was a particularly rough one for children. By some measures, it may have been among the worst in decades. While lawmakers delivered


Principles of Health Reform for Children

| April 1, 2019 |

Written by Bruce Lesley and Bryan Sperry In 1996, in the face of a national crisis whereby 1 in 7 children in this country


The Trump Budget Is a Children’s Health Coverage Catastrophe

| March 17, 2019 |

A budget that puts America first would first and foremost invest in the next generation. Children should be a priority for investment and not


Trump’s Border Wall: Maslow’s Hammer Strikes Again

| March 11, 2019 |

When candidate Donald Trump was considering running for president, his advisors wanted him to focus being strong against both illegal and legal immigration — you know,


10 Reasons to Reject Medicaid Block Grants

| January 23, 2019 |

Earlier this month, POLITICO reported that, after Congress rejected efforts to cut and block grant the Medicaid program in 2017, the Trump Administration is exploring ways


Statement: Attempt to Erase the Affordable Care Act Jeopardizes The Health of Children

| December 15, 2018 |

Statement of Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children, regarding the federal district court ruling in Texas v. Azar declaring the Affordable Care


A Tribute to Marian Wright Edelman

| November 14, 2018 |

Today it was announced that the founder and leader of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), Marian Wright Edelman, will transition out of the role


Championing Children is an Electoral Winner

| November 8, 2018 |

Important lessons from Election 2018 that are being overlooked and unrecognized include: (1) making children and families a legislative and campaign priority was a


Ending Birthright Citizenship Targets and Harms…Babies

| November 5, 2018 |

A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on. . . Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous