With a background that ranges from management analyst to chef to business owner, Leslie Topp Blakey offers an unusually creative breadth of communications savvy and experience.
Leslie serves as president of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, a 501(c)6 non-profit corporation. The Coalition has united a large and growing number of public and private organizations around the need for increased federal investment in intermodal freight infrastructure. Leslie manages the Coalition’s work to increase awareness of the benefits of trade infrastructure development and to coordinate legislative strategy and support.
Leslie produced the inaugural NAFTANEXT Summit, held in Chicago in April 2014. Convened by the Coalition, NAFTANEXT gathered industry and government leaders for discussions on the challenges and opportunities created by increased trade and our freight mobility, energy and sustainability future as a trading continent. The summit broke down the silos and explored how transportation, energy and environmental infrastructure work together in North America. Since its original summit, NAFTANEXT has continued to work to raise awareness of the advantages of North American economic cooperation and the benefits of free trade.
In 2012, Leslie was appointed to the Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. She also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Eno Transportation Foundation and has addressed transportation issues to a wide variety of groups, such as the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Leslie began her association with Blakey & Agnew in 1997, when she conducted a nationwide survey with state policy administrators, law enforcement personnel and substance abuse treatment professionals. Her work, along with other contributors, culminated in the publication of Combating Hardcore Drunk Driving: A Sourcebook of Promising Strategies, Laws and Programs, a publication that is widely used and referenced by the traffic safety community.
Previously, Leslie founded and operated Le Caprice restaurant from 1985 to 1997. Although, one of Washington’s smallest restaurants, Le Caprice garnered a national reputation and was frequently mentioned in both local and national media.
Leslie received her B.S. in sociology and a M.S. in public administration, with a focus ineconomics, from Florida State University. Leslie is fluent in French and holds a degree from the Lycee Hoteliere de Strasbourg in France.