Leena Barakat (she/her)

President & CEO

Leena (she/her) is a Palestinian-American activist, organizational strategist, and the CEO of Women Donors Network (WDN) and its 501(c)(4) sister organization, WDN Action.

Throughout her career, Leena has worked across the grassroots, philanthropic, and private sectors to advance organizational growth and impact with a justice lens. She began her career at the early height of the post-9/11 era to foster civic engagement and advocacy within the Muslim-American community and across a range of intersectional issues within the gender, racial, economic, and climate justice spaces. Barakat gained national recognition and won awards as a youth organizer and cross-movement leader who also advised students across universities nationwide in their campaign organizing.

Later on, she 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 portfolio of clients 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 joined WDN as an active member after the 2016 election. She was named to the Board of Directors in 2018 and grew to Vice Chair in 2020. Leena currently serves on the board of the Donors of Color Network and on the Advisory council for USCPR Action and the MPAC Hollywood Bureau.

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 home-based out of the Los Angeles area with her two children.

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