The unifying theme of Leslie Gerwin’s eclectic professional career is her dedication to development, analysis, and advocacy of public policies to promote social justice and civic engagement. During her eleven-year career as a law professor, Leslie taught policy-related courses at three law schools (University of Miami, Tulane, and Benjamin N. Cardozo/Yeshiva University). After earning a degree in public health, Leslie taught in two public health schools (Tulane and Louisiana State University). Her teaching subject areas included administrative law, legislative process, health law and policy, public health policy issues, as well as the first year torts course, and a version of Karl Llewellyn’s introductory course in legal analysis and jurisprudence. Her research examined the intersection of law and policy making processes and the judicial responses to challenges involving the delegation of legislative power to or the usurpation of such power by the executive.
Leslie spent a significant portion of her career in professional positions in the non-profit sector and as a consultant to state and local government entities. She served as executive director of a civic organization seeking to improve intergovernmental relations among the southeastern parishes (counties) forming the New Orleans metropolitan area, as well as to advocate reforms in local government finance policies and race relations in New Orleans. She also directed the New Orleans public education fund, designing initiatives to build citizen support of and involvement in public school improvement and education governance. As a long-time consultant to the Louisiana Department of Public Health, Leslie developed and directed implementation of the Adolescent School Health Initiative to facilitate the establishment of comprehensive school-based health centers, which became a national model.
In addition to her professional activities, Leslie’s extensive volunteer service on behalf of community and civic organizations earned her several awards, including being named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Women of America. Most recently, Leslie spent a “sabbatical year” at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she received a masters in public administration and was named a Lucius N. Littauer Fellow in recognition of her academic achievement and public service. Despite Harvard degrees, Leslie and her husband Bruce Leslie are proud Princeton parents; however, Leslie experiences no problem of divided loyalties.