Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is an author, human rights and children’s rights advocate, lawyer, philanthropist, and former television executive. Her memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, was published in 2009 by Harper Collins. She is also an active member, and previously the Co-Chair, of HRW’s Los Angeles Committee.
Leslie is a Founding Board Member and past Board Chair of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, a leading legal rights organization for abused, at risk, and foster youth. To advance child welfare reform, Leslie also served as Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Welfare, which led to widespread policy change in Los Angeles County. She also is a member of The Pacific Council on International Policy.
Leslie also has worked to improve public education in a variety of settings. She is a member of the UCLA Foundation, the Board of Advisors to the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, and the UCLA Law School Board of Advisors. She served for over a decade on the Los Angeles County Board of Education, and she was President of the Board for three terms. As a student at UCLA, she was the Student Regent, on the Board of Regents of the University of California.
Gilbert-Lurie’s memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, chronicles her mother’s experience in The Holocaust and the inter-generational transmission of trauma. She has spoken about the book, the Holocaust, and its implication for the world today, across the country and internationally.
Leslie spent much of her early career as a television executive. At NBC, she oversaw NBC Productions and the Comedy division, co-wrote television episodes of Alf and Saved by the Bell, and co-founded an in-house production company, Lurie-Horwits productions. She later consulted for USA Network and Disney Television. As a lawyer, Leslie worked briefly at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney and served as a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Clerk.