Leadership & Staff

Max Lesko

National Executive Director


Max Lesko joined the Children’s Defense Fund in 2017 as the Director of National Organizing, Intergovernmental Outreach and the CDF Action Council. Previously, Max served as the Chief of Staff for the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education from 2015 through 2017. Prior to the Department, he served in the White House as Assistant Counsel at the Office of the White House Counsel working on oversight and compliance issues and as the Domestic Director with the Presidential Personnel Office handling presidential appointments for domestic focused agencies. In 2012, Max was the Get Out the Vote Director for the President’s campaign in Ohio, drawing from his 19 months with Obama for America in 2007 and 2008. Max has also worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In the first term of the Obama Administration he served at the Department of Homeland Security. Max holds a B.A. in Political Science from The College of Wooster and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.