Senior Vice President - General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas
Leslie T. Thornton has been Senior Vice President and General Counsel of WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas since January 1, 2012, having joined the company as Counsel to the Chairman in November 2011. In 2014, Ms. Thornton was also named Corporate Secretary for WGL Holdings, Inc.
Prior to joining the company, Ms. Thornton served as a partner with the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro LLP in Washington D.C. from 2004 until 2011 and as a partner with the law firm of Patton Boggs, LLP from 2000 to 2004.
Beginning with the Presidential Transition of 1992 and until 2000, Ms. Thornton worked with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, first as Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor, and then as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). During her nearly eight years at ED, Ms. Thornton advised the Secretary on all ED matters, served as the liaison between the Secretary and the White House on policy, political, ethics, personnel and other issues; supervised the higher education administrative appeals process for the Secretary and helped implement President Clinton's education initiatives. Ms. Thornton was selected by the White House in 1995 to serve on the President's White House Budget Working Group and in 1996 served in a senior role on President Clinton's presidential debate team.
In addition to her work at ED, Ms. Thornton founded the Educational Equity Institute and Capitol Education Fund, organizations dedicated to improving educational access and opportunity.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Georgetown University.