Environmental conservation and resource management were among the focus of Leslie's undergraduate studies. Following college she interned as an informal educator with various national conservation agencies. Later she worked at James River State Park in Virginia as the park naturalist providing environmental education programs in local schools and within the park. In the years since, Leslie earned her MPA and worked predominately to provide program operations, budget management, and administrative support, first at a university and most recently at The Pew Charitable Trusts. At Pew she supported the Campaign to End Illegal Fishing and the Global Tuna Conservation Campaign.