Leslie Thornton (L'83, L'16)

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc and Career Education Corporation

Board member

Leslie T. Thornton is a retired senior executive with WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas Light Company. Thornton began her career in the utility industry as a senior executive in 2011 for WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL) and Washington Gas Light Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WGL, and served in elevated roles until becoming the Senior Vice President, Merger Transition Counsel.

During her WGL tenure, sherearned her Master of Laws degree in National Security Law with a cybersecurity focus and provided legal counsel on a broad range of issues including critical infrastructure cybersecurity and data protection.  Before joining WGL, Thornton was a partner at two Washington D.C. based national law firms. In the Clinton administration, she served in various senior roles including Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Since 2005, she has been a member of the board of directors for Career Education Corporation where she serves on the Audit Committee and chairs the Compliance and Risk Committee.  She is also a member of the board of directors of Southwest Gas Holdings Inc. where she is a compensation and audit committee member.

Recently, Thornton joined the Advisory Board of Encrypted Sensors, a security technology start-up, and is a Board Leadership Fellow for the National Association of Corporate Directors where she is a frequent speaker on governance, compliance, and cyber security and data protection.  She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2017 Legend in Law Burton Award For Legal Achievement, UDC Law Recognition Award presented by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., Black Enterprise’s 300 List of Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America (Fall/Winter 2017), National Law Journal Law Departments of the Year, 2017-2018, the 2018 Washington Business Journal, Women Who Mean Business Award, and the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award, among others.  Thornton has served on a number of non-profits and is a philanthropist. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University Law Center.