Leslie Sanchez - Entreprenuer - Strategist - Advocate - Impacto Group

About Leslie

Author, Republican strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush, Leslie Sanchez is a widely sought-after political analyst. She was part of CNN's award-winning 2008 election coverage. A columnist and commentator, Sanchez is founder and CEO of Impacto Group LLC, a communications and market research firm, which specializes in defining social and economic trends affecting women and the emerging U.S. Hispanic community. For her work, Hispanic Business magazine named her one of the nation's "100 Most Influential Hispanics."

A veteran of numerous local, state and national campaigns, Sanchez is known for her straightforward style and in-depth understanding of the political and cultural landscape inside—and outside—Washington, DC. In 1999 she served as 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.

Sanchez was appointed executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. She also served as a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX-23)—where she worked on immigration and border security legislation as well as Appropriations for the Departments of Justice, State, Treasury and Transportation.

As a political analyst, Sanchez's analysis has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, as well as NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo and leading programs, including NBC's "Nightly News," the "Today" show and PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

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Entrepreneur & Marketing Expert

Leslie is the chief executive officer of Impacto Group LLC, a Washington, DC-based strategic communications and market research firm she founded to explore trends and measure opinions among Hispanics and women - segments of the U.S. population that have shown rapid gains in their influence and purchasing power.

Her unique understanding of these diverse markets makes her highly sought after by Fortune 500, non-profit and political clients who recognize in her those same qualities that led Hispanic Business magazine to select her as one of the nation's "100 Most Influential Hispanics."

Impacto Group's strongest research verticals include the health care, financial and high tech sectors.

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Strategist & Speaker

From the Texas grassroots to the halls of Congress and into the Bush administration, Leslie has built a reputation as a problem solver, a master strategist and someone who knows how to get the job done. She is known for her in-depth understanding of the political and cultural landscape inside - and outside - Washington, DC, which help her spot potential solutions to problems most others have yet to identify. 

As the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Leslie was President George W. Bush's point person on education issues pertaining to the Hispanic community. The grassroots network of 20,000 parents, educators and students Leslie built led to real change in U.S. education policy while she worked to build strategic partnerships between 30 Fortune 500 companies, foundations, government agencies, and associations. Before that, she led the first multi-million-dollar Hispanic advertising campaign undertaken by the Republican Party and oversaw its 2000 Hispanic vote strategy, from public opinion research to paid and earned media campaigns for the 2000 elections.

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Community and Education Advocate

Leslie believes giving requires a constant commitment to and hope for a better future.  In and out of the office, she is a tireless advocate for those who need a leg up rather than a handout. As part of the Bush administration, she launched the President's unprecedented Yes I Can! / Yo Si Puedo public education campaign, the first bilingual interactive effort serving as a one-stop education shop for families.  With over 600 pages of pre-K-through-12 educational toolkits and the creation of a mascot, Pablo the Eagle, Yes I Can! was credited with an historic 400-plus percent increase in Hispanic customers to the U.S. Department of Education.

On a personal level, Leslie and her Golden Retriever Jalapeña ("Jalee"), a trained therapy dog, regularly visit with children and the confined elderly throughout their community, where Jalee brightens the lives of the people she meets. Leslie is currently working to further her commitment to literacy by establishing local efforts similar to the national "Paws to Read" program.

Her commitment to the community also includes support for numerous local and national charities as well as serving on the boards of Providence Health Foundation, which supports Providence Hospital, a 143-year-old healthcare center with a congressional charter signed by President Lincoln.

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Pundit, Television Commentator and Author

Leslie lectures frequently on marketing strategies, trends in public opinion and on issues of importance to women and the Hispanic community. A featured speaker at the Harvard University ARCO Forum of Public Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Leslie has been a guest columnist for United Press International and appears regularly throughout the English- and-Spanish-language media. She is a frequent guest on PBS's "To the Contrary" and "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," and appears regularly on all three major broadcast networks as well as Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Telemundo and Univision. Her analyses are frequently cited in a variety of publications including The New York Times , The Washington Post and US News & World Report.

Television Appearances (partial list)

  • Guest on McLaughlin Group
  • Hired as Election Night Commentator BBC Worldwide (2004 and 2006)
  • Regular Commentator on PBS's "To the Contrary" and Fox News Channel
  • Featured Guest, NBC Nightly News, "Women of the Bush Whitehouse"

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Awards and Affiliations

  • Co-director of the Congressional Border Caucus
  • Selected by the U.S.-Spain Council for the Young Hispanic Leaders Program
  • Ex-officio member of the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status
  • Hispanic Business magazine's "100 Most Influential Hispanics"
  • Women's Business Enterprise National Council
  • Board of Directors, Providence Health Foundation
  • John Hopkins Alumni Association
  • The George Washington University Alumni Association
  • National Society Hispanic MBAs
  • Independent Women's Forum, Visiting Fellow
  • Texas Federation of Republican Women
  • Latin Chamber of Commerce
  • Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce
  • American Cancer Society Relay for Life