Lester Munson is a Non-Resident Fellow with the United States Studies Centre and is Principal and Managing Director of the International Practice at BGR Group, a leading government relations firm in Washington, DC, where he consults with governments, corporations and advocacy groups.
He is adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and speaks regularly on the foreign policy role of Congress and on U.S. foreign assistance issues. He is a co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, a Senior Fellow at George Mason’s National Security Institute and a commentator on Bloomberg News and other American media outlets. In addition, Lester is a co-host of the thrice weekly podcast “Fault Lines,” a bipartisan discussion of foreign policy issues.
Lester previously served in senior positions on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch. He was most recently Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which negotiates international affairs issues with the president and oversees the State Department and other foreign policy agencies.
Previously, Lester was Chief of Staff for Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois. During his tenure, Senator Kirk became the leading Republican voice in the Senate on Iran and other national security issues.
During the George W. Bush administration, Lester served as Deputy Assistant Administrator at the US Agency for International Development, where he focused on developing and implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and won an award for his contribution to the creation of the President’s Malaria Initiative.
Lester is a graduate of the College of the University of Chicago and holds a Master’s degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis.