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Non-resident fellow, United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney

Lester Munson is a non-resident fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and a principal in the international practice at BGR Group, a leading government relations firm in Washington, D.C., where he consults with foreign governments, corporations, and advocacy groups. Lester leads BGR’s foreign assistance practice, which provides advisory and government relations services to companies, advocacy groups, and nongovernmental organizations in the international aid policy area. Before joining the private sector, he was most recently staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Lester also served as chief of staff to U.S. senator and representative Mark Kirk (R-IL). During the George W. Bush administration, Lester served as deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he focused on legislative affairs as well as global health issues. He also serves as 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 cochair of the executive committee of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, a senior fellow at George Mason University's National Security Institute, and a commentator on several news channels. In addition, Lester is the host of the weekly podcast Fault Lines, a bipartisan discussion of foreign policy issues associated with the National Security Institute. 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.


  • –present
    Non-resident fellow, United States Study Center, University of Sydney