Women Donors Network Appoints Terror Supporter Leena Barakat as CEO

Women Donors Network (WDN) is a left-of-center donor networking group for female advocacy funders. They claim over 200 donor members who contribute over $175 million to left-of-center causes each year. And they’ve announced their new CEO as one Leena Barakat:

Women Donors Network (WDN) and WDN Action are proud to announce Leena Barakat as its next President & Chief Executive Officer. 

Following an extensive national search, the WDN Board of Directors determined that Barakat’s demonstrated commitment to WDN’s work, her innovative leadership, and her track record of championing social and racial justice make her the perfect choice to lead WDN and WDN Action as the entities look to expand and deepen their collective impact.

WDN advances its vision of a world of justice and equity for all through its three areas of strategic impact: participation and representation for all, opportunity and equality for all, and a safe and sustainable future for all. WDN Action serves as the 501(c)(4) sister organization to WDN, working with its network of feminist donors and activists to bring a unique gender justice lens to political giving and advocacy. In 2021, WDN and WDN Action granted $19.1M to 170 organizations. Through its collective giving initiatives, WDN and WDN Action’s grantmaking demonstrates a deep commitment to BIPOC-led groups and organizations, with a special focus on BIPOC women, who are the most under-resourced. WDN and WDN Action provide sustained support for movement-building in order to create lasting change.

Barakat has been a member of WDN since 2015. She joined its Board of Directors in 2017, and in 2018 she joined the Board’s Executive Committee, where she now serves as Vice Chair.

Her career began as a grassroots activist and movement builder, organizing across a range of issues, including immigration, racial equity, climate justice, labor rights, LGBTQIA+, among other critical social issues. She became a nationally recognized and awarded movement leader working as an advisor to college students across 17 universities, and under the mentorship of Angela Davis. From there, she went on to nonprofit management and global philanthropy. This range of experience has given Barakat a unique vantage point from each stakeholder within WDN’s network and ecosystem–from the lens of a grantee to being an organizational leader, an active WDN member, and a board executive. 

During the course of her seven-year tenure at Tides, Barakat doubled Tides’ portfolio of clients and was instrumental in accelerating the growth of Tides’ assets from $189M to $1.5B. As the Director of Strategic Partnerships, she also tripled her team size, with a 100% retention rate in 3-plus years. 

“WDN’s long-standing commitment and unique approach towards creating a just and equitable world have been my passion,” said Barakat. “I am honored to join an organization and community of brilliant women who are building a national model for shifting power as a multi-generational, multi-racial, feminist network. I plan to leverage the social, political and economic resources we have to strengthen the power and capacity of movement leaders striving toward equity, sustainability and justice.” 

Barakat’s appointment comes at a pivotal time as the country continues to deal with the impacts of the pandemic, widespread calls for social and racial justice, attacks on voters’ rights, threats to women’s reproductive rights, and an alarming spike in gun violence. These critical issues are only some of the ongoing challenges that WDN members have sought to address by investing resources—in money, time, and expertise—towards advancing systemic change. 

“After two decades as WDN’s leader, I have seen firsthand the passion and commitment of our team, our partners, our grantees, and our membership—and the impact we have had together,” says Donna Hall, WDN’s outgoing President & CEO and President of WDN Action. “Our mandate requires a leader with a strong vision and an even stronger ability to see that vision through. I know that Leena is that leader.” Hall will stay on through the end of the year as part of the leadership transition. Her last day at WDN will be Dec. 31.

Barakat will join WDN and WDN Action as President & CEO in September 2022

Bay City News reports she will become the “first Palestinian American” to head WDN.

Leena Barakat was still a young child when she began learning about life’s injustices.

One of her earliest memories is straddling her father’s shoulders while she waved signs during protests of human rights violations, and Barakat grew up with stories about the discrimination that drove both sides of her family to immigrate from Palestine to the United States.

The oral history sensitized Barakat to the sufferings of others and galvanized her to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.

“(It’s) in my DNA,” Barakat said of her determination to right the wrongs she saw. “I am so deeply driven by justice.”

Barakat’s focused energy has paid off, and on Sept. 6, the 33-year-old will mark a career milestone by becoming president and chief executive officer of Women Donors Network.

The success makes her the first Palestinian American — as well as the youngest person — to take the helm of a philanthropic organization this size in the country.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit’s board of directors last month chose Barakat to oversee the day-to-day operations of its philanthropic organization, which has been pursuing its vision of an equitable society for all since it was formed in 2003.

What neither NDN nor Bay City News and others are telling you is how Leena Barakat was a member (possibly leader) of the terror-supporting, antisemitic organization SJP. And she has personally showed her support for terrorism, including suicide bombing:

while shilling for Hamas:

Please join me in letting WDN know this is not ok.

Tel: 415 814 1333

Email: [email protected]

Facebook Page

Twitter: @WomenDonors

Hat tip: Michal


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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