Robin Leeds


Robin Leeds manages Winning Strategies LLC, a public affairs and political consulting firm in Washington DC. Winning Strategies is a Strategic Partner to Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications consultancy. Ms. Leeds is a senior political strategist, organizer and advocate with more than 30 years of work in the government, labor, business and non-profit sectors. Her experience is unusually broad, from rank and file workplace organizing to spearheading major initiatives from the Clinton White House, giving her the capacity to work with people from all sectors of society and a wide range of constituencies. Ms. Leeds’ expertise encompasses women’s leadership development, public policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, political and non-profit fundraising, donor advising and philanthropy, campaigns and elections, government affairs, civic engagement, coalition building, multi-cultural communications, stakeholder engagement, and corporate social responsibility.

Winning Strategies has represented a range of organizations from the Inter-American Commission on Women at the Organization of American States to The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. Recent clients include: The Center for Parent, Family and Community Engagement, Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, The Creative Coalition, Actor/Director Giancarlo Esposito, Astellas Pharma US, Insight Center for Community Economic Development, Society for Women’s Health Research, and Envision, EMI.

Winning Strategies regularly provides strategic consulting on the women’s vote to presidential, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns. During the 2004 presidential primary, Ms. Leeds served as National Co-Chair of Women for Kerry, taking the lead in the creation and management of Women’s Voices on the Trail (WVOT), the national women’s outreach, education, and vote program for Senator John Kerry. WVOT coordinated with all aspects of the campaign to ensure that the concerns of women were fully integrated into policy, message and strategy. Ms. Leeds has also advised the presidential campaigns of Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale on the women’s vote. In 2008, Ms. Leeds advised President Obama’s women’s outreach and policy teams during his campaign.

In connection with the 2004 election cycle, Ms. Leeds launched an initiative to encourage young women to become political leaders. Winning Strategies and The Rendon Group organized a partnership with the National Council of Women’s Organizations, Lifetime Television, Lesley University and Barnard College to create and produce the Young Women’s Leadership Conference ’04 (YWLC ’04). Coinciding with the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the YWLC ’04 prepared 500 young women to become effective leaders inspiring women across the country to register, take a stand on the issues and vote.

Ms. Leeds’ lifelong commitment and work has been to expand access to economic, civic, and social opportunities for all Americans and she has consistently fought to increase the participation, visibility and leadership of women in politics and government. She served as a political appointee to President Clinton from 1994 to 2000. While serving at the White House Office on Women's Initiatives and Outreach she coordinated domestic public policy and constituency engagement efforts. She also played a leadership role in numerous global initiatives relating to the status of women -- U.S. follow-up to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, US Delegation to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Human Rights Declaration, CEDAW (Convention to End Discrimination against Women) and International Women’s Day Commemorations.

Ms. Leeds’ most notable public policy accomplishments in the Clinton administration include: raising the national childhood immunization rate to 90% for the President’s Child Immunization Initiative at the Department of Health and Human Services, implementing the National Voter Registration Act, “Motor Voter” in the WIC, Food Stamps and AFDC programs at the Department of Agriculture, and building the public private partnership that significantly increased youth training and employment for the President’s Youth Opportunity Movement at the Department of Labor. She is also credited with building presidential and congressional support for pay equity, Title X family planning, Title IX affirmative action, paid family and medical leave, reproductive rights and health, and domestic violence and sexual harassment protections. In 1997, Black Women United recognized her as The Most Admired Person for her contribution to advancing the agenda of women of color.

As one of the nation’s leading advocates for election law reform and voting rights, Ms. Leeds led many successful campaigns to increase voter participation. She developed state and federal strategies including government executive action, legislative reform, litigation, ballot initiatives, and public private partnerships. Ms. Leeds’ work on voter participation and democracy building began in 1984 when she directed Massachusetts Human SERVE (Human Service Employees Voter Registration and Education Campaign). She then worked for the Massachusetts Committee on Elections Laws, served on the Secretary of State’s Voter Participation Partnership and was Campaign Director for the Voter Registration by Mail ballot initiative. She was recognized by the Massachusetts Legislature for her Outstanding Commitment to Reforming Voter Registration Laws.

In 1992, Ms. Leeds organized a nation-wide voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort for VOTE NOW 92’, a public charity that funded some of the most effective drives. She played a leadership role in the development and passage of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), also known as “Motor Voter”. Ms. Leeds served as liaison to the National Motor Voter Coalition for the Clinton-Gore Transition Team, and subsequently coordinated the Clinton Administration’s government-wide NVRA implementation efforts. During the 2004, 2008 and 2012 election cycles, Winning Strategies partnered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights to organize non-partisan election protection programs. She currently serves as an Advisor to “Electoral Dysfunction”, a PBS documentary.

Throughout the 1980’s, Ms. Leeds coordinated a number of labor-community initiatives for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and Building Trades Council including a referendum campaign that prevented the repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law and the Pension Investment Project. As an active member of SEIU, she organized private and public sector health care workers. She also led a campaign to implement the Boston Jobs Ordinance that increased access for women and people of color to careers in the building trades.

Ms. Leeds is a member of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, Anti-Defamation League’s DC Regional Board, Breast Care Washington’s Board, AARP’s Women’s Leadership Council, National Council of Jewish Women, and National Press Club. She is currently a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and served as a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership, Advisor to the Senior Director of University Women’s Initiatives at Harvard University, Scholar-in-Residence at the Women in Politics Institute at American University, and Academic Advisor to the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform.

Ms. Leeds is a graduate of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Institute for Intellectual Renewal. She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences and forums, provides commentary to the press on a broad range of public policy issues and is a guest professor at American University and George Washington University. Ms. Leeds has served on numerous boards including: Mary’s Center for Maternal and Childcare, Capital Breast Care Center’s Advisory Council and United for a Fair Economy. She is an active member of the Martha’s Vineyard Donors Collaborative and Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum.

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