Leslie Tugman is a creative, energetic professional with over 20 years of experience in workforce development. She is perhaps best known for developing and directing SEMI High Tech U, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program for high school students focusing on skills and educational pathways for careers in the high-tech field. Since 2002, the acclaimed High Tech Uprogram has graduated more than 6,000 students and has documented success metrics showing that HTU students complete their higher education with a STEM degree at a rate nearly five times higher than the national norm.
As President of her own Portland, Oregon-based firm, Workforce Resources, Inc., Leslie has served the electronics, manufacturing, medical, and semiconductor industries with clients in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
In 2015, Leslie was appointed Executive Director of the SEMI Foundation, a global nonprofit headquartered in San Jose, California. She telecommutes from Portland, Oregon and travels extensively for her work. As leader of the Foundation, Leslie continues to increase participation in HTU while working to develop training and accreditation programs that accelerate the time it takes to integrate manufacturing trainees into the workforce.
Prior to developing a passion for workforce issues, Leslie worked in state government at both the Oregon and Texas legislatures. She also served as an association lobbyist in Texas, where she gained a reputation as a mediator and author of innovative legislative compromises. Leslie attended Willamette University and the University of Texas, where she studied government and psychology.