Lesley Smith for CU Regent At Large

Exceptionally Qualified Leadership

Press photos available at the bottom of this page.


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Colorado politics Letter to the editor, March 15, 2018

‘I have the courage and energy to make CU a beacon’

Thank you, caucus goers. Congratulations county assembly delegates! You have some important decisions to make about which candidates best represent your values and interests.

I’m Lesley Smith, an exceptionally qaulified candidate running for University of Colorado regent at large, a statewide race. I’m the only candidate who has had a nearly 30-year career as a scientist and educator at CU, as well as an eight-year tenure on my local school board. I understand the role of the regents, similar to the role of school board — set the vision for our  flagship university system, oversee the president, and allocate the budget based on the values of our statewide community.

I plan to reach out across our state through local townhalls to learn how CU can best serve your children and your community. I was the first woman aquanaut to live and work in the Aquarius underwater research lab, and I was one of the few women students in my reaearch institution.

I have the courage and energy to make CU a beacon among public institutions. I will ensure that CU offers students an excellent, relevant education that equips them with workforce-ready skills. I will work to attract strong funding for a strong CU system, and I will fight for affordable, accessible pathways to success. I have the experience to make a difference in our state. If you see me at assembly, please say hello! I’d love to earn your vote.

Please visit my website to learn more about my campaign: LesleyForCU.org.

Lesley Smith
Candidate for CU regent at large




January 27, 2018


Democrat Dr. Lesley Smith announced her candidacy for the CU Regent At Large position. Lesley, 59, said, “My 30 years as a scientist and educator at CU, eight years of public service on my local school board, and pioneering experience as the first woman aquanaut at the underwater Aquarius research lab have prepared me to take on the challenges facing the CU system. I am honored and ready to vigorously pursue the opportunity to serve our wonderful state as a CU Regent.”

Lesley’s goals for the University of Colorado include offering an excellent, 
relevant education that prepares students for the workforce; providing all students affordable, equitable and accessible pathways to success; and working hard to
attract strong funding for a strong CU system.

Lesley graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) 
with a B.A. in Aquatic Biology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland after completing a research project in the Brazilian Amazon where she had the responsibility for on-the-ground operations of a multi-million dollar project while pursuing her research.

Lesley has lived in Colorado since 1989. She works at CU Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) where she worked as a Research Scientist and is currently Associate Director of CIRES Education & Outreach. She lives in Boulder with her spouse Michael, an atmospheric scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) Together they have two adult children.

Colorado House Majority Leader KC Becker said, “I am happy to endorse Lesley Smith for the at-large seat on the CU Board of Regents. Not only does she have a solid understanding of the importance of the University of Colorado in our state, but she believes that all Colorado students deserve the opportunity to have a college education. Colorado’s economy depends on a well-educated work force and the best way for that to happen is to ensure that all students can acquire the education that they want.”

For additional information, contact:

Lesley Smith

"I am pleased to endorse Lesley Smith for this November's open statewide seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. Lesley is a scientist who understands the necessity of using facts and research to change policy. Lesley would be the only regent with the knowledge of how CU operates from the bottom up. Because of Lesley’s extensive experience, she will “hit the ground running” and provide a unique perspective to the Board of Regents."
—Linda Shoemaker, CU Regent (CD-2

Photos of Lesley Smith

Images here are provided for press use. Note, these images are not high-resolution files. For high-resolution images, please contact Lesley at info@LesleyForCU.org