Called to Public Service

September 4, 2012 | By Lauren Hart

While Charlotte, North Carolina will host the Democratic National Convention this week, there are many conservatives making a mark throughout North Carolina.

“Public service is a calling,” stated Leslie Goodman, now a legislative assistant in Rep. Virginia Foxx’s (NC-05) office, a district about an hour or so from Charlotte.

“For me personally, the Leadership Institute was a valuable foundation for my career in politics and public service,” she said.

As a native of Southwest Virginia near Roanoke, Leslie grew up as the oldest of five children. She
and her siblings were homeschooled and encouraged to pursue their passions.

“My parents made sure I had the opportunity to explore the world of government and politics even during high school,” Leslie shared. “They were involved in local politics and elections, and I remember working the polls as an elementary school student handing out sample ballots.”

In high school, Leslie attended a hands-on government class in Richmond where she “learned the best way to make a difference in government was to be personally involved,” she shared.

Later, Leslie went on to study government (politics and policy) with a minor in English at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

While there, she took LI’s Grassroots Campaign School in October 2005 and LI’s Capitol Hill Job Seminar in October 2007.

“As a Capitol Hill staffer, the Leadership Institute’s Capitol Hill Job Seminar was the most help to me in my journey to Capitol Hill,” Leslie said.

“I learned about the structure of the Hill, the various positions in a Member’s office, and House and Senate procedure,” Leslie continued. “It was also during this seminar that I met Steven Sutton (a former chief of staff to several Members, and now LI’s vice president of development). After the seminar, Mr. Sutton was kind enough to answer questions, and I asked him specifically what would be a good minor to add to my degree in terms of getting a job on Capitol Hill. It was Mr. Sutton who encouraged me to minor in English, and as my various positions in Congresswoman Foxx’s office have always been writing intensive, the minor has served me very well. Mr. Sutton is a valuable resource and I am grateful to have met him during the Leadership Institute’s Capitol Hill Job Seminar.”


Writing is an everyday affair for Leslie.

She manages Rep. Foxx’s responsibilities as chair of the House Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee and drafts legislation and amendments consistent with her boss’ positions.

“One highlight was drafting an amendment to a health bill that successfully passed the House in 2011,” Leslie shared. “The amendment was consistent with the Congresswoman’s strong pro-life stance and prohibited taxpayer funding for abortion doctors through a funding stream in Obamacare.”

Leslie’s policy areas include: education, family/values issues, health care, homeland security, judiciary, labor, Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Telecommunications, and welfare.

“I would not be the person I am today without my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Leslie said. “He gives me the strength to face each day and seek integrity in every aspect of my life.”

She admitted, “I still have the binder from my LI Capitol Hill Job Seminar in October of 2007 and have browsed through it from time to time.”

You can register for a similar training—LI’s Conservative Career Workshop—hosted November 27-28. Learn about different paths in the conservative movement. Whether you dream of working on Capitol Hill, in a think-tank, or for a non-profit, this workshop will teach you the skills needed to succeed on your career path.



“The Leadership Institute provides practical education regarding Capitol Hill and campaigning, and has been helpful to me in teaching me the structure and procedure of Capitol Hill prior to my internship here,” Leslie said.

“I have devoted my time and career to public service because I strongly believe in individual freedom,” Leslie said, “and felt the best way to protect liberty was on the ground in Washington, D.C.”  

Please welcome Leslie Goodman as LI’s Graduate of the Week.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.