WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:

  • John W. Leslie, Jr., Nominee for Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation
  • Deborah Robinson, Nominee for Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

John W. Leslie, Jr., Nominee for Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation
John W. Leslie, Jr. has served on the Board of Directors of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) for 20 years, including as Chair since 2009. He is also the former Chairman of Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading public relations and public affairs firm. Leslie currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and is a former Chair of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. He is a veteran communications strategist, having advised corporations and governments on high-profile campaigns over the past three decades. Leslie served as a senior aide to Senator Edward Kennedy in the late 1970s, and later became President of Sawyer Miller Group, a pioneer in the political media consulting business. In the 1980s, he served as political consultant and media advisor to dozens of candidates for U.S. Senate and Governor, and to presidential candidates in the U.S., Latin America, Africa and Asia. Political and business leaders alike have sought his counsel during significant crises, including American Airlines following the attacks of September 11th. He later testified before the House International Relations Committee on U.S. public diplomacy programs directed toward the international Muslim community. Leslie is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Chairman of the U.S. Agency for International Development Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, former Chairman of USA for UNHCR and is currently a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University and a Visiting Fellow at the Duke Global Health Institute. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Water.org and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Deborah Robinson, Nominee for Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
Deborah Robinson is an attorney with extensive experience protecting intellectual property rights on a global scale. Her career includes leadership roles as a corporate attorney and in public service as a prosecutor. As head of intellectual property enforcement at Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS), Robinson developed and implemented anti-piracy protocols to protect music, television, digital, and consumer-products properties. She built the global content protection group, amassed evidence for criminal prosecutions and directed civil litigation matters. She also coordinated regularly with social media and app platforms to create specialized enforcement workflows and forged alliances among several trade associations and industry coalitions.
Prior to joining Paramount Global, Robinson spent five years protecting music creators’ rights at the Recording Industry Association of America and seven years as an Assistant District Attorney for the city of Philadelphia. As a prosecutor, Robinson supervised 35 attorneys and the litigation of 65,000 cases annually while also maintaining a personal caseload of high-profile major felonies. Robinson has also provided legal commentary on network broadcasts including ESPN and CNN. Robinson serves as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the IP Section of the New York State Bar Association and as a Board Member of Aequitas, a non-profit focused on access and quality of justice in cases of human trafficking and gender-based violence. Robinson received her B.A. from Howard University, her J.D. from University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


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