Lesley DeNardis, Ph.D.
Dr. Lesley A. DeNardis brings passion and commitment to public service in her role as MPA Program Director. Her public sector experience spans both state and local government government in Connecticut. She has served in state government as a public information officer for a state agency. At the local level she has held elected and appointed positions including legislative council, planning and zoning commission and the board of education. She has consulted for municipal organizations and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities on leadership, strategic planning, and ethics. Dr. DeNardis has authored numerous articles on state and local government in Connecticut. She is a recognized expert on education finance in Connecticut and is a member of the National Education Finance Academy.
Dr. Lesley DeNardis is a product of interdisciplinary studies. As an undergraduate at Connecticut College she double majored in Government and Hispanic Studies which allowed her to explore international topics from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. A year-long study abroad program in the University of Madrid awakened her interest global affairs and enabled her to draw connections between Iberia and Latin America in all their varied political, historical, linguistic, and literary traditions.
Continuing with her international education, Dr. DeNardis earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University where she specialized in Latin American Politics and International Affairs. As a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, Professor DeNardis spent three years in Monterrey, Mexico as a visiting professor at the University of Monterrey and the Technological Institute of Monterrey where she taught a variety of undergraduate courses in political science to Mexican students in their native Spanish. While in Mexico she conducted field research for her doctoral dissertation on the Mexican transition to democracy. Upon return to the U.S., Professor DeNardis taught at New Mexico State University located near the U.S.-Mexican border where she taught a predominantly Hispanic student population courses in political science and public administration.
Degrees and Certifications
- Ph.D. in Political Science - University of Connecticut
- Master’s degree in International Affairs - Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University
- Bachelor's degree in Government - Connecticut College
- Bachelor's degree in Hispanic Studies - Connecticut College
Awards and Fellowships
- Global Engagement Award, 2014-2015