Susan Leal

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Susan Leal
SF City Treasurer Susal Leal.jpg
Susan Leal
EducationBachelor's degree in Economics and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.
OccupationSan Francisco Supervisor (1993–1997)
San Francisco Treasurer (1997–2003)
General Manager of The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (2003-2009)
EmployerCity of San Francisco

Susan Leal[1] is an American water utility consultant, the co-author of the book Running out of Water. Formerly, she was the General Manager of SFPUC, San Francisco Treasurer and a San Francisco Supervisor. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Early life and education[edit]

Leal was born in San Francisco, on October 11, 1949.[2][3] She grew up in Eureka Valley.[4] She graduated from Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1967; the Catholic prep school was founded in 1915 by the Sisters of the Presentation, and it closed in 1991. (the site is now part of the campus of University of San Francisco). Leal received a bachelor's degree in economics and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley.[1][5] Leal joined Harvard as a Senior Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative, where she researched the delivery of potable water and treatment of wastewater in communities worldwide, in 2009-2011.[6]


Beginning in 1976, Leal served as counsel to U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.[3] In 1982, she served as senior consultant to the California State Assembly's Committee on Ways and Means.[3] In 1985, Leal became vice-president of a health care management company.[3] Leal also worked as a businesswoman, a lawyer, and an investigator in state and federal governments.[3]

Leal was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June 1993.[3] She was reelected the following year to a four-year term. While serving on the Board, she chaired its Finance Committee.[3] From 1997 to 2004, Leal served as Treasurer of San Francisco, the City and County's banker and chief investment officer, winning re-election in 2001.[7] Her duties as Treasurer also included managing all tax and revenue collection for San Francisco as well as managing billions of dollars in short-term revenue.[8] She introduced the first socially responsible investment portfolio among California’s 58 counties. Her socially-responsible portfolio’s return on investments surpassed the other 57 other California counties during her tenure. She helped increase tax collection rates, including a 91% increase in delinquent revenue collection, representing tens of millions in additional revenue.[9] Leal spearheaded the city's e-commerce initiative, which was named one of the top e-government projects nationwide and helped launched the nation's first audio ATM for the visually impaired.[10]

In 2004, Leal was appointed General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) by then-mayor Gavin Newsom. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a county utility, that regionally, delivers water to 2.5 million customers.[11][12] During her term Leal, upgraded the Bay Area's seismically unsafe water system and initiated a program to update San Francisco's wastewater system. She also implemented "greasecycle" – a biodiesel fuel program that uses restaurants' waste oils and grease to run San Francisco's fleet of vehicles while keeping this waste out of the city's sewer system.[13][14]

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission fired the agency's director on Thursday, February 20, 2008 without giving a reason.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][22][24][25]

After her term with the SFPUC, Leal joined Harvard as a Senior Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative, where she researched the delivery of potable water and treatment of wastewater in communities worldwide.[26][27]


  1. ^ a b "Academy of Distinguished Alumni - Civil and Environmental Engineering". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Marian Susan Leal, Born 10/11/1949 in California -". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Official Bio
  4. ^ "At Home with Susan Leal". 30 September 2003. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. ^ "San Francisco Public Utilities Commission : News Blog". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Exhibits highlight history of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Water Fight!". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  13. ^ Chowhound. "Got Grease?". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Ousted S.F. utilities head vents about mayor". 23 February 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Susan Leal voted out as S.F.'s PUC chief". 21 February 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  17. ^ "susanleal archives . SFist". Archived from the original on 6 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  18. ^ "San Francisco Confirmation Required of Mayoral Appointments to the Public Utilities Commission, Proposition E (June 2008) - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Tear Down That Dam? - Commonwealth Club". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Plummer, John. "PLANS_NEW". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Anti-terror fish guard S.F.'s water / Bluegill monitored to detect an attack on city's drinking supply". 6 September 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Fish to guard water". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  24. ^ d'Hage, Adrian (7 April 2008). "The Beijing Conspiracy". Penguin UK. Retrieved 15 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  25. ^ "Fish of Lake Merced". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  26. ^ Lohr, Steve. "Starting Over, With a Second Career Goal of Changing Society". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  27. ^ "New leadership fellowship program established — The Harvard University Gazette". 12 October 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Roberta Achtenberg
Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
District 8

Succeeded by
Mark Leno
Preceded by
Mary Callanan
San Francisco Treasurer
Succeeded by
José Cisneros