“Leslie gets the intersection between technology and government like few others. She was instrumental in working with the tech sector and other stakeholders to draft and implement Governor Schwarzenegger's Broadband Executive Order. On issues like corporate tax apportionment and fixing the software overtime problem, she was a forceful, effective advocate for getting the solutions the tech sector needed.”

— Jim Hawley, TechNet

Leslie Rodriguez (formerly Bar-Ness) provides clients with unsurpassed strategic counsel on technology issues and economic development.  Having deep experience in the technology rich Silicon Valley along with policy experience that reaches high into a governor’s administration, she provides unique insights and can deliver results beyond any ordinary expectations.

A veteran in public policy, Rodriguez works closely with California Strategies’ Principals in the Technology and Energy Practices.  Leslie understands there are industry sectors that are evolving and developing at an accelerated pace such that existing laws and regulations do not sufficiently address all the outcomes. She implements key strategies designed to provide clients the best way forward as they look to navigate proposed and current regulations laid out by elected leaders and state agencies.
 
Leslie Rodriguez served until recently as the Director of Regulatory and Government Affairs for ClearEdge Power, a fuel cell manufacturer based in Portland, Oregon.  There, she prepared stakeholders on regulatory and legislative concerns; developed, managed and carried out strategies to address obstacles by means of executive engagement, regulatory filings, and direct legislative engagement.  

Immediately prior, she served as Director of Government Affairs for Solyndra LLC, focusing on state and local governments in the Western United States.  She worked with elected officials and appointed policy makers at the state level to increase the adoption of renewable energy as a means of attaining energy independence and addressing climate change.  Rodriguez also promoted Solyndra’s manufacturing priorities while working with company leaders to attain the highest levels of environmental safety.  
 
Rodriguez has also worked on data security and consumer protection in an online environment for Symantec Corporation.  She was instrumental in drafting model legislation for the Organization of American States (OAS) on Access to Information and worked with the Chilean Consejo de Transparencia (The Chilean Transparency Council) on bill language for privacy and security.  Additionally, she worked with State Governors and State Chief Information Officers to position the Symantec public sector sales team to participate in bids by State Designated Entities to compete for Federal Stimulus Funding for Health Information Exchanges.

Prior to joining the Schwarzenegger administration, Leslie held positions with the City of San Jose and local non-profits that addressed youth violence and gang involvement.  

Her work in education and economic development began in the early 1990’s when she held a post in San Salvador, El Salvador that assisted newly repatriated refugee communities rebuild their rural infrastructure.

Rodriguez serves on the board of  Working Partnerships USA, a non-profit affiliated with the South Bay Labor Council.   She is also a Commissioner on the Santa Clara County Social Services Advisory Commission.

Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dominican University of California and a Master of Social Work from San Jose State University.  Leslie is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.