Attorney Lezli Baskerville was born in Montclair, New Jersey, as an identical twin sister of Dr. Renee E. Baskerville, to Marjorie (Henry) Baskerville, a teacher-social worker, and Charles W. Baskerville, a marketing executive. After graduating from Montclair High School, Baskerville received her bachelor’s degree from Douglass Residential College in New Jersey, and later earned her J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law in 1979.
For two decades, Baskerville served as outside counsel to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO). She also worked during this time as Executive Director of the National Black Leadership Roundtable (NCLR). In addition, she served as National Legislative Counsel for the NAACP, as a member of the national appellate litigation team of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and as an administrative appeals judge in the District of Columbia.
Between 1989 and 1999, Baskerville managed a successful private legal and legislative services collective called, The Baskerville Group, providing legal and government relations representation, advocacy and diversity services to higher education institutions, associations, municipalities, elected officials, non-profit groups, small businesses and corporations.
As Vice-President for the College Board (between 1999 and 2003), Baskerville was Chief Executive Officer of the Board’s Washington office. In 2004, after serving for two months as the Interim President of NAFEO, its Board named Baskerville its first female president. She serves as the liaison between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal and state governments and corporations, foundations, and non-governmental organizations, to champion the interests of and build the capacity of the HBCU community.
Baskerville lives in Washington, D.C.
Baskerville was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2006.