Leslie Ford

Leslie Ford

Visiting Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies

Areas of Expertise

  • Welfare
  • Hunger and Food Programs
  • Poverty and Inequality

Leslie Ford is a Visiting Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

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Leslie Ford is a Visiting Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, where she specializes in welfare, poverty and inequality as well as hunger and food programs.

She previously served in the Trump Administration in the White House as a Domestic Policy Advisor and Special Assistant to the President from 2018 to 2020. In that role, Ford had broad responsibility for the development of the Administration's welfare and anti-poverty strategic agenda and oversaw the execution of policy at the Assistant Secretary level throughout the Administration as well as the interagency policy coordination process. She also worked with leading anti-poverty practitioners and Congressional policy leaders. She focused on advancing reforms to the U.S. social safety net programs so that all Americans can access meaningful work that enables them to move toward self-sufficiency and greater control of their futures.   

Before her work in the White House, Ford was a Legislative Advisor to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Capitol Hill. She oversaw the development of 22 pieces of legislation and more than 50 amendments on significant bills to advance health and welfare reforms.  Ford started her career at the Heritage Foundation in 2011 as a research assistant focusing on religious liberty, civil society and poverty studies. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and National Review. Ford received a bachelor’s degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has three children and lives with her husband in Virginia.