Lieutenant-General (Retired) Andrew Leslie was born into a military family. His father was a Brigadier General, and both his grandfathers served as Minister of National Defence. Leslie joined the 30th Field Regiment while a student at the University of Ottawa.
Leslie was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015, and in 2017 was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-U.S. Relations).
Over the course of 35 years in the military, Leslie served in missions in the former Yugoslavia, Croatia and Afghanistan, where he was Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force. During this time he led an operation which was credited with saving 40 civilian lives.
Leslie has also served in Canada as part of disaster relief after the 1997 Manitoba floods and the 1998 ice storm in Quebec.
He also served as Assistant Chief of Land Staff and Chief of Land Staff. In 2010 Leslie was named Chief of Transformation for the Canadian Forces. In that role he led the release of the 2011 Report on Transformation which recommended cutting funding to central headquarters and transferring it to combat troops as well as scaling back primary reserves in order to enhance regular forces, something that was supported by both the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister at the time.
Leslie’s military service has been recognized on several occasions, including in 2005 when he was appointed Commander of the Order of Military Merit and the Meritorious Service Cross. Since retiring from the forces, he has worked as a strategic advisor and speaker. He also worked as a senior VP at CGI group, an information technology company.
Before becoming a candidate for the Liberal Party Leslie acted as co-chair of the Liberal International Affairs Council of Advisors, providing guidance on foreign affairs and defence issues.