Chief Financial Officer
RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ)
Leslie Hale, a member since 2013, is Chief Financial Officer of RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ), which is one of the largest U.S. publicly-traded lodging Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), with more than $3 billion in assets and 150 hotels operating across the United States. As CFO, she is responsible for all RLJ financial matters and oversees all asset and corporate level real estate and debt transactions. She is also integrally involved in the company’s investment decision-making, long-term strategic planning and operations. She successfully managed the roll-up and merger of RLJ’s predecessor, RLJ Development, with its two private equity funds, and the subsequent initial public offering. She joined the company in 2005 as the Director of Real Estate and Finance, subsequently holding several successive positions.
Prior to RLJ, she held progressive positions within General Electric Capital Corp. (GE), including as a Vice President in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of GE Commercial Finance, and as an Associate Director in the GE Real Estate – Strategic Capital Group. She was also an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co., advising clients across industries on mergers, acquisitions, and corporate finance matters. She is a board member of the Real Estate Executive Council, Robert F. Toigo Foundation, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, and the Dr. Stephanie and Bishop Joseph Walker Foundation. She serves on the Real Estate Roundtable President’s Council (Tax Committee member) and is an Advisory Board member of Artemis Emerging Managers. In 2011, she was honored by the Washington Business Journal as one of their top 40 executives under 40.
She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance from Howard University in 1994, graduating summa cum laude (Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society) and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, where she was a Goldman Sachs and Robert F. Toigo Fellow.