Leslie Knope added quite a bit of job history to her résumé during Parks and Recreation. The character, played by Amy Poehler, appeared in all 125 episodes of the NBC sitcom. Leslie’s career greatly evolved over the seven seasons, and to keep track, we broke down all of her jobs.
When Leslie was introduced, she was portrayed as a very ambitious woman. She looked up to her mother, Marlene Griggs-Knope, a key member in the Pawnee government. Leslie also idolized inspirational women such as Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Janet Reno, and Michelle Obama. She was extremely optimistic, almost to a fault. Leslie’s positive attitude got her far in life, and it also picked her up during times of defeat.
Leslie emerged as one of the most admirable female characters on TV by the end of Parks and Rec. She was an absolute force to be reckoned with, especially in the eyes of her male colleagues, and even earned the grudging respect of Ron Swanson despite his lack of enthusiasm for government bureaucracy. Even though Leslie always prioritized her career, she never pushed aside her husband and kids. That said, here’s a guide detailing Leslie’s job history.
Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation: At the start of Parks and Rec, Leslie worked in the Pawnee Parks Department as the deputy director. She took much pride in her mid-level bureaucratic position but she viewed it as a stepping stone on her quest to become a prominent member of the local government. Leslie accomplished a lot during her time as the Deputy Director. She successfully fought for the pit to be filled in so that it could be transformed into a park and she brought back the town's Harvest Festival.
City Councilor of Pawnee: In Parks and Rec season 4, Leslie decided to run for City Council. She and Ben were dating at the time, which was against policy. When their relationship was publicized, the scandal surrounding her punishment caused her campaign staff to quit. Leslie's Parks employees filled in as her campaign volunteers. She initially lost to her opponent, Bobby Newport, but after a recount, she was revealed as the winner of the election. As the new councilwoman, Leslie had many goals, but the Pawnee citizens were against the changes. Leslie was then recalled from her City Council position in season 6, but she carried out her term.
Regional Director of National Park Service Midwest Region: After being recalled, Leslie went back to her old job in the Parks Department. Much of her time was spent on menial disputes such as the Pawnee-Eagleton border wall. She was later offered a job to serve as the Regional Director for the Midwest Region of the National Parks sector. Leslie was reluctant at first because the job would have required her to move to Chicago. She later took the job but opened the Midwest Region's branch office on the third floor of the Pawnee Town Hall building.
Deputy Director of Operations at United States Department of Interior: Following Leslie's big move to the third floor, Parks and Rec time-jumped three years. Leslie enlisted many of her old Parks Department employees to work in her new office. For much of season 7, Leslie was focused on building a National Park in the area. She was later promoted so she and Ben moved to Washington D.C. with their kids.
Governor of Indiana: During the Parks and Recreation series finale, flash forward scenes indicated that Leslie ran for the Governor of Indiana in 2025. She won the election as a member of the Democratic Party and served two full terms.
President of the United States: The series finale also hinted that either Leslie or Ben had been elected President by 2048. There was no indication which of the two characters won the presidential bid, but our money was on Leslie Knope.