Yvonne Leland (she/her)

Executive Assistant
Yvonne Leland

Yvonne Leland serves as the executive assistant to Water Foundation CEO Allison Harvey Turner and ensures the smooth operation of the Foundation’s Oakland office. Yvonne is responsible for organizing Water Foundation convenings, board meetings, and field roundtables. She works closely with the director of finance and operations on administrative and accounting activities and provides support to the Foundation’s staff. Yvonne has a background in activism and has spent two decades working with social justice organizations in administrative, finance, and operations capacities.


Before joining Water Foundation, Yvonne served as the operations manager for Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, where she oversaw the daily finance and administration, and managed the human resources needs for their bicoastal office.  Yvonne received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Jose State University and a Master of Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management from Pace University.


"As a kid growing up in East Oakland, my family took evening walks together at the Oakland Estuary and Alameda Beach.
During the day, we visited Stinson Beach, Santa Cruz, and other parks. Often as I whizzed by on my bike, my mother would say, “water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink.” She was quoting a sailor from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” who contemplates the undrinkable salt water surrounding his becalmed ship. At 10, those words meant little to me. All I had to do was turn on a faucet, and there it was, water. Decades later, as we stare down the grim face of climate change and the reality that people across the country are facing challenges to drinkable water, those words carry new meaning. Having once taken drinking water for granted, I’m reminded through the Water Foundation's work that clean and safe drinking water is a gift and every person has a right to it. I’m proud to be a part of the effort to make drinking water accessible to all."