Leslie Knope is the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana. She is a tireless government employee who believes strongly in the power of government and is focused on becoming the first female President of the United States.She idolizes females politicians and diplomats, seemingly regardless of their politics, including Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Janet Reno, and Nancy Pelosi -- and has photos of several of them displayed around her office. She has been a member of the Indiana Organization of Women since she was 9 years old. Her love of politics also extends to men, once saying that her dream man as "the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden."
Leslie is also a tireless devotee of Pawnee, which she believes is the greatest city in Indiana, probably the United States, possibly the world. She also maintains a fierce rivalry -- as do most Pawneeans -- with neighboring Eagleton, Indiana, which is home to snobby elitists who look down their noses at Pawnee and even erected a fence in the middle of a shared park to keep Pawneeans out of their side. She is a frequent customer at JJ's Diner, which has what she says are the best Belgian waffles in the world. She's also a big consumer of whipped cream, which is her favorite food.
Leslie developed a fast friendship with Ann Perkins, who she met in the series' pilot after Ann's then-boyfriend fell into a pit from an abandoned construction project behind Ann's house. Leslie took up the pit as her own project and started the ad hoc Subcommittee for Pit Beautification, of which she is the chairwoman. Her goal is to build a park in place of the pit. Leslie loves Ann dearly, but occasionally shows minor flashes of jealousy or rivalry with her, occasionally commenting not-so-flatteringly on Ann's hair or referring to Ann as a "beautiful, naive, sophisticated newborn baby," or asking her to "shut your beautiful pie hole."
Leslie also lives in the shadow of her mother, Marlene Knope, a fixture in Pawnee government who apparently runs the education department.