Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)  at the 2011 Whittington LectureLeslie A. Whittington, along with her husband Charles Falkenberg and two children, Zoe, 8, and Dana, 3, died tragically on September 11, 2001 when American Airlines flight 77 was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon.

Leslie was a committed and effective teacher. She taught economics and public finance, in addition to many electives. Loved by her students who appreciated her lively and engaging lectures, Leslie received numerous awards for her excellence in teaching. Leslie not only helped build GPPI, but also a community of policy professionals in Washington, throughout the nation, and around the world. She served as GPPI’s Associate Dean from 1999 to 2001.

A renowned expert on the “marriage tax,” Leslie was in the process of writing two books – one on resolving the often conflicting obligations of work and family and the other a study of taxes that affect families and children. Her work was among the first to demonstrate that taxes play some role in the most intimate of family decisions.

Dean Montgomery and Paul RyanLeslie received her bachelor’s degree in business from Regis College at Denver, and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She became an assistant professor at the University of Maryland in 1989, where she taught until she joined GPPI in 1996.

Previous Whittington lecturers include:

  • Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez
  • Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)
  • Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI)
  • Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • Former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Alice Rivlin
  • The New York Times Senior Writer Jason DeParle

Whittington Lecture Videos:

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez Delivers 2016 Whittington Lecture


Sen. Richard Durbin Delivers 2015 Whittington Lecture


Sen. Elizabeth Warren Delivers 2014 Whittington Lecture


Sen. Richard Lugar Delivers 2013 Whittington Lecture


Congressman Paul Ryan Delivers 2012 Whittington Lecture


Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu Delivers 2010 Whittington Lecture