People

Maisha Leek

Distinguished Alumni Fellow; National Vice President of Government Relations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Maisha C. Leek is an advocate for closing the opportunity gap for children and families from low-income communities. Currently, she serves as the National Vice President, Government Relations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America where she advocates for 4,100 Clubs and 3.8 million youth across the country, including on military installations and Native lands.

Prior to BGCA she served as Senior Advisor to the President of Howard University, and chief of staff to a senior member of Congress. During her time at Howard and on Capitol Hill she led efforts addressing issues of inequality in education, criminal justice reform, and poverty through partnerships and policy.

As a Congressional staffer, despite caps on federal funding, Maisha successfully increased federal investments in youth programs: establishing a public private partnership between NASA & BGCA, leading to a half million dollars in STEM programming, and increasing mentoring programs to $90M, a record at that time. She also led a team in establishing the Equity and Excellence Commission at the U.S. Department of Education – a first of its kind initiative setting educational equality standards. During the Bush Administration, she was appointed to serve as Special Assistant to the Vice Chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an independent bi-partisan commission created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

Active in her community, Ms. Leek is a trustee of Trinity College – Washington DC, a member of the Corporate Advisory Council of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a member of the Leadership Institute at the Center for American Progress, and a member of the Public Policy Committee for the Independent Sector, a national leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations committed to advancing the common good.

Her community service and leadership were recognized with the Woman of Genius Award, the highest honor awarded an alumna of Trinity College and by Loop21/IMPACT as one of “40 under 40” of the most influential staffers of color of Capitol Hill.

Maisha is a graduate of Trinity College in Washington, D.C., has a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate in leadership from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu