Expertise: International Development, NGO Management
Leslie Wright is a recent addition to the CSR Group LLC. She brings with her a varied area of expertise in working with not-for-profit organizations, including women's organizations, non-formal education organizations, HIV/AIDS organizations, and non-profit advocacy and development organizations, with a special interest in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Wright specializes in NGO relations at the United Nations in New York. During her tenure as the First Vice President of the Conference of NGOs (CONGO) and chair of the Non-Governmental Organizations' Committee on the Status of Women, Wright worked with hundreds of NGO representatives from around the world, emphasizing issues related to the status of women, rights of children and development. Wright is a trained public relations professional and has conducted numerous workshops such as public speaking and public relations for volunteers, development, HIV/AIDS, voluntarism and youth involvement. She is sought after to speak on UN-NGO relations and for her expertise with women's and voluntary organizations.
Wright is a management professional and provided consulting services to NGOs in Taiwan, Brazil and Armenia. She also managed three corporate mergers and a number of marketing campaigns for corporate and non-profit organizations. She organized hundreds of events from press conferences to seminars to major meetings with NGOs at the UN.
In her role with the Conference of NGOs (2000-2003), Wright managed the office in New York and interfaced with top UN officials and Ambassadors. She chaired the CONGO Foundation, established a youth advisory committee and coordinated the work of more than 20 NGO Committees of CONGO working on substantive issues with the UN. During the 9/11 Crisis in New York, Wright worked with the UN and NGOs to establish better relations between security staff and the NGO community. She is currently working to implement a seminar on the UN Millennium Development Goals in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Last year Wright represented CONGO and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva. In addition, she organized a successful meeting with the General Assembly President and the chairs of the UN General Assembly Committees for 400 NGO representatives. She organized NGO Fora for input into the High Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the past three years, presenting results to the Ministers at ECOSOC in 2002, and collaborating with colleagues for input during 2001 and 2003. She participated in the General Assembly High Level Dialogue on HIV/AIDS in September 2003, and has been on the NGO selection committee for the Global AIDS Fund for the past two years. Wright also coordinated a meeting at the UN in New York on Youth Justice, and participated in a coordinating meeting to work out a strategy for increasing awareness of these issues held in Amsterdam 2003.
In December of 2001 Wright was appointed the focal point for CONGO's efforts to support NGOs during the United Nations' General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS. To that end she worked with NGOs, UNAIDS and other groups to facilitate NGO participation with governments and other stakeholders. She was instrumental in establishing an NGO Committee on HIV/AIDS in New York to coordinate NGO participation on this issue through the UN.
Wright represented both WAGGGS and CONGO at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa (2002), where she spoke at seminars about the Millennium Development Goals, voluntarism and CONGO's Youth Advisory Committee. Wright has served on international steering committees and actively participated in NGO arrangements for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Children (NY, 2002), the UNGASS on HIV/AIDS (NY, 2001) and the UNGASS on Women 2000 (NY). She also participated in all preparatory committee meetings for the UNGASS on Financing for Development and the WSSD.
Since 1998 Wright has represented the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) at the United Nations, and served on its World Communications Committee form 1999 to 2002. She coordinated the WAGGGS volunteers at the UN, and continues as a member of the team. She represented the Big 7 (WAGGGS, World Organization of the Scout Movement, World YWCA and YMCA, the International Award, Red Cross/Red Crescent, World Youth Foundation) at meetings of UNICEF in New York and Johannesburg. From 1992 to 1994 Wright was Head of Communications and External Relations at WAGGGS headquarters in London.
As chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (1999-2003), Wright coordinated meetings of NGOs participating in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Wright was invited to attend the Expert Group Meeting of Women and Media held in Beirut in 2002. Her work with the UN Division for the Advancement of Women is well-respected.
Wright holds an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies, secondary level teacher certification, and two Masters Degrees -- in Public Policy and in Marketing Management. She has been employed by such organizations as the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Borders Books and Music, Battelle Memorial Institute, Constitution Health Care, and the Connecticut State Legislature. She was a local, elected official in Newington, CT and also served on various Boards and Commissions.
Wright has three adult children who reside in Alaska and New York. She is a member of the American Association of University Women, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Unitarian Church. She and her husband Walter reside in Brooklyn, where she volunteers at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.