Author, political analyst and former advisor to President George W. Bush, Leslie Sanchez is known for her straightforward style and in-depth understanding of the political and cultural landscape inside and outside Washington, DC. A columnist and commentator, Sachez was part of CNN’s award-winning 2008 election coverage. For her work, Hispanic Business magazine named her one of the nation’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics.” Sanchez is the founder and CEO of Impacto Group LLC, a premium communications and market research firm, which specializes in defining social and economic trends affecting women and the emerging U.S. Hispanic community. Sanchez is also a regular contributor to CNN’s AC360 blog and author of the critically acclaimed book ” Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other” (Palgrave Macmillan, August 2007), which debunks the cultural and political myths about Hispanics and Republicans alike. The fall 2009 release of Sanchez’s second book, ” You’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe: Michelle, Sarah, Hillary and the Shaping of the New American Woman” (Palgrave Macmillan), investigates and the historical moment for women and politics that was the 2008 presidential election. She takes a hard look at what the future holds for women, the impact of social media on their voting habits, the rising political influence of women of color and the drastically changed landscape for women worldwide.
Sanchez began what she calls her “Latina journey” putting herself through college selling encyclopedias door to door. From that humble beginning, she eventually rose to be named executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Here, she served as President George W. Bush’s point person on education issues pertaining to the Hispanic community. Under her leadership, the initiative successfully built a grass roots network of 20,000 parents, educators and students, and issued two Presidential Commission reports aimed at closing the academic achievement gap. In 1999, she served as spokesman and deputy press secretary at the Republican National Committee where she was one of the principal architects of the Republicans’ first-ever multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at Hispanic voters. She also worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX-23), responsible for immigration and border security issues as well as Appropriations for the Departments of Justice, State, Treasury and Transportation. A veteran of numerous local, state and national campaigns, her analysis has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and online media outlets such as CNN.com In addition to her work as a political contributor for CNN, she has also appeared regularly on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo and leading programs, including NBC’s “Nightly News,” the “Today Show,” the CBS “Early Show” and PBS’ “News Hour with Jim Lehrer.” She’s featured in the PBS documentary “Latinos ’08,” which examines the presidential election through the prism of ethnic politics. Sanchez holds a Master in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree from The George Washington University. She serves on the Board of Providence Health Foundation in Washington, DC.