Bruce Lesley President, First Focus

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


Revised Senate Health Bill Would Still Harm Millions of Children

| July 13, 2017 |

WASHINGTON—The Republicans released a revised health care bill today to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new proposal maintains some of the ACA


Letter of Support: Pre-K Parity Act

| March 27, 2017 |

On March 27, the First Focus Campaign for Children submitted a letter of support to US Representative Joaquin Casto for his leadership in introducing


The AHCA Will Harm Children

| March 21, 2017 |

On March 21, 2017, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to Congress to provide comments on the American Health Care Act. The


Letter: Support for Repeal of the “Cadillac Tax”

| February 14, 2017 |

On February 7, 2017, First Focus submitted a joint letter to the Senate and House of Representatives urging Congress to prioritize investments in children’s programs, in


Letter to Congress: Do No Harm with Changes to the ACA

| January 3, 2017 |

First Focus Campaign for Children joined other child advocates submitted a letter to Congress calling for policymakers to keep the Affordable Care Act to ensure


Work to resolve child poverty has hit a snag

| July 27, 2015 |

The Columbus Dispatch Ohio’s rising child poverty rate is alarming (“More kids in Ohio living in poverty,” Dispatch article, Tuesday). But what’s appalling is


CHIP Works: Will Congress Protect It For Millions of Children?

| December 11, 2014 |

This blog post originally appeared on Huffington Post. In 1991, the bipartisan National Commission on Children called for action on increasing health insurance coverage


Sen. Jay Rockefeller: Eight Million Reasons to Extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program

| November 20, 2014 |

Over 1,200 organizations from across the country recently urged Congress to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is estimates to cover more than


New definition of homeless would give kids more help

| September 16, 2014 |

Deseret News (Utah) Ruth White, executive director of the National Center for Housing & Child Welfare, said the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act


Nonprofit Campaign Planning Made Even Easier

| August 18, 2014 |

Eight years ago, I led a research effort at Spitfire Strategies that informed the development of the Just Enough Planning Guide. That tool – built by Spitfire with funding from the Moore Foundation – offered an accessible and effective resource for nonprofit campaign planners.