Leslie Coolidge is a certified public accountant, an environmentalist, a progressive, and candidate for the United States House of Representatives from the Sixth District of Illinois in 2012.
An Understanding of the Numbers
Leslie retired as a partner in the worldwide accounting firm of KPMG LLP, after 28 years. Leslie has worked all over the world, including in New York and the Netherlands, in addition to the firm’s Chicago office.
Leslie worked as external auditor for clients ranging from Fortune 500 multinational companies to some of the newest technology startups. She also led her firm’s internal training program. Leslie’s accounting background will give her unique insight into, and influence over, many of the issues that will face Congress in the next term, such as job growth, tax policy, the deficit, and reforms of abuses that led to the recession and continued job stagnation.
Daughter of the Middle Class
The daughter of a high school history teacher, Leslie knows the value of education, and the important role the federal government has in assuring that all schools in America have the resources they need to educate our children. Her late father’s activity in his fellow teachers’ collective bargaining efforts also left a lasting impression on Leslie of power that employees have if they can speak with one voice to their employers.
Her outstanding performance at a public high school in San Diego allowed her to attend Harvard University, receiving a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in government. She also has a master’s degree in accounting from NYU where she was recognized as the top student in her program. She joined Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (which ultimately became KPMG) in New York in 1981. She stayed with the firm her entire career, rising to partner.
Leslie lives in Barrington Hills with her two German Shepherds, Norma and Zoey. She is proud of her stepson, daughter-in-law, and a grandson.
Protector of Nature
Leslie’s childhood summers spent with her father in Baja California and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains and her love of animals led her into a lifelong dedication to the environment and years as a competitive horsewoman. She has worked tirelessly in support of strong environmental protection. She is a member of the World Wildlife Fund’s National Council, and the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Crane Foundation. Leslie also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. She has traveled extensively with these organizations to study wildlife projects in Russia, India, China, Bhutan, the Brazilian Amazon and Peru, as well as many sites on the North American continent. She has also visited many areas where endangered cranes and other birds are being protected and studied. In the process, she has learned that innovative approaches often work when most people would lose hope.