Leslie Cornell is an accomplished impact finance specialist and pragmatic leader. She currently serves as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Social Finance, Inc., a national impact finance nonprofit. In this role, Leslie leads a team of legal professionals who structure pioneering transactions that support results-focused social programs across various areas, including homelessness, workforce development, and criminal justice.

Leslie advises cross-functional teams on a wide range of transactions, including complex debt financings, equity impact investments, private funds, fund of funds, and other pooled investment vehicles. Her work fosters the development of innovative financing strategies in collaboration with state and local governments, institutional and philanthropic investors, and nonprofit service providers, with a direct and measurable impact on improving lives. Her notable projects include Social Impact Bonds, Career Impact Bonds, the Google Career Certificate Fund, the DREAMers Graduate Loan Program, and the Social Finance Impact First Fund of Funds, a groundbreaking impact investment fund mobilizing significant donor-advised fund capital.

In recognition of her contributions, Leslie was awarded the Grunin Prize by NYU School of Law’s Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship in 2019. Currently, she is a co-chair for the Grunin Center’s annual conference: Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing. She is also a Board Member for the North America regional chapter of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers (GAIL).

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 and President of the Illini Union Board. She graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Consumer Law Review.