Leena Barakat (she/her)

President & CEO

Leena is a Palestinian-American activist, organizational strategist, and CEO of Women Donors Network (WDN) and its 501c4 organization, WDN Action. She is leading the organization through a period of transformative growth, channeling the collective power of the network to advance gender, racial, economic, and climate justice in alignment with movements.

Throughout her career, Leena has worked across the grassroots, philanthropic, and private sectors to advance organizational impact, movement building, and justice across the three sectors. She began her career as a grassroots activist and movement builder, organizing and advocating on a range of issues, including civic engagement, immigration, racial justice, climate, labor rights, LGBTQIA+ and Palestinian human rights. Barakat gained national recognition and won awards as a movement leader and supported fellow college students in their divestment efforts across universities nationwide.

She later joined Tides, a global philanthropic foundation and nonprofit accelerator, where she spent seven years working at the nexus of funders, change makers, and policy. During her tenure, she more than doubled the organization’s client portfolio and was instrumental in leading the strategic growth of Tides’ assets from $189 million to $1.5 billion as their Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Passionate about merging her interests in grassroots and donor organizing, Barakat became an active member of WDN after the 2016 election. In 2018, she was named to the Board of Directors and Vice Chair in 2020. Leena also joined the board of the Donors of Color Network in 2020, where she supports the growth of BIPOC donor organizers in advancing racial equity, political power, and justice.

She earned her Master’s Degree in Global Development and Social Justice from St. John’s University in New York. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of California San Diego. Leena is based in the Los Angeles area with her dog and two children.

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