Leslie Cornell

VP, Deputy General Counsel & Policy Advisor at Social Finance

Leslie Cornell is a Director and Deputy General Counsel at Social Finance. In this role, Leslie supports the development of Pay for Success (PFS) financing strategies that directly and measurably improve the lives of those in need. Leslie leads the negotiation and drafting of PFS project documentation and works with state and local governments, institutional and philanthropic investors, and nonprofit service providers to launch and implement outcome-based financing initiatives, including Social Impact Bonds, Career Impact Bonds, and the UP Fund. She also oversees all corporate legal matters, including corporate governance and state and federal compliance for Social Finance and its subsidiary and affiliated entities. She is one half of the legal team that won the 2019 Grunin Prize, awarded by the New York University School of Law’s Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship.

Prior to Social Finance, Leslie was a public finance attorney, serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and borrower’s counsel for a wide variety of public finance transactions including tax-exempt conduit financings for not-for-profit universities, hospitals, health care systems, and cultural institutions.

Leslie holds a B.S. in Media Arts and Sciences and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was a Civic Leadership Fellow. She graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.



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  • VP, Deputy General Counsel & Policy Advisor

    Current role

  • Director & Deputy General Counsel

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