Leslie Cornfeld has devoted her career to propelling equity and opportunity for our nation’s underserved communities—through their schools, justice systems and unconventional partners. A former federal civil rights prosecutor, senior Obama administration official, and a two-term advisor for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she previously taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, served as a law clerk to the Hon. Pierre N. Leval (2nd Cir.), and started her career as an aide to former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in Washington DC.
She currently leads the National Education Equity Lab, an education justice nonprofit that she founded in 2019 to drive opportunity at scale by bringing college credit-bearing courses and supports from top universities into historically under resourced high schools—an economic mobility effort featured on the front-page of The New York Times, and that Forbes Magazine called “ingenious.”
Ms. Cornfeld serves on numerous non-profit boards, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior, the Hospital for Special Surgery, previously the Children’s Defense Fund for over a decade, and serves on the Brookings Institute’s Task Force on Community Schools.
Her articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in several publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, the NY Law Journal, and Huffington Post; she is a frequent speaker on education equity and economic mobility and has been featured on numerous national news and media programs on these topics.
A proud graduate of Broward County public schools, Ms. Cornfeld graduated from Harvard College, Phi Beta Kappa, and Harvard Law School. She has two children and lives in New York City.