Leslie Knope, is a fictional character in the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. She is portrayed by Amy Poehler. Poehler garnered an Emmy Award nomination for Best Lead Actress in Comedy Series for her role.
Leslie Knope has lived in Pawnee, Indiana, since her childhood. The community programs she enjoyed in her youth inspired her to pursue a life of public service and serve the city. She attended Pawnee North High School, where she served as Co-Vice President of the student body and participated in several student organizations, including Model United Nations, Debate Club, Mock Trial, Young Republicans, Young Democrats and Young Independents, which she founded. She graduated in the top five percent of her class at Pawnee North High School and went to college at Indiana University Bloomington. Leslie is a member of several action committees in her role at city hall, including the Equal Opportunity Committee, the Fun in the Sun Committee, the Clean Restroom Task Force, the Handicapped Restroom Task Force and the Task Force to Reduce the Number of Public Restrooms. Her goal is to become the first female President of the United States.
Leslie is the Deputy Parks Director of Pawnee's parks and recreation department, a mid-level bureaucrat position. She hopes to advance her career (possibly aiming to jump over the department's Director position and become a City Manager) and improve her town. Years ago, she had sex with city planner Mark Brendanawicz, and still harbors romantic feelings for him. However, the encounter had little sentimental meaning for Mark, who has long held a reputation as a womanizer. Knope proudly displays in her office images of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Janet Reno, and Nancy Pelosi. Leslie also has a love for sweets, especially whipped cream, as she usually adds excessively large amounts to coffee, waffles and other food.
Leslie Knope is extremely cheerful, ambitious, hard-working and optimistic. She is firmly committed to the belief that government should provide a service for its people, and regularly goes above and beyond for the benefits of Pawnee's residents - a belief that regularly clashes with her superior Ron Swanson, a staunch libertarian who feels all government should be privatized.Although somewhat naive at times, she is intelligent, well-read and good-intentioned, but not always successful in executing her goals. She repeatedly tries to put a positive spin on failure, even to the point that she will occasionally distort the truth in her own view. For example, she does not get discouraged by angry residents who complain or yell during her public forums, but instead prefers to think of them as "people caring loudly at me". Many of her co-workers do not share her enthusiasm, but Leslie seems to command their respect or at least obedience. Her ambition occasionally annoys her colleagues and leads to ribbing against her, especially from her subordinate Tom Haverford, though Leslie is now safe from the office scapegoat position thanks to the presence of all-around punching bag Jerry. Leslie views herself as a budding political star in the style of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Condoleezza Rice.