Susan Leal

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Susan Leal
Born San Francisco, California
Education Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.
Occupation San Francisco Supervisor (1993–1997)
San Francisco Treasurer (1997–2003)
General Manager of The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (2003-2009)
Employer City of San Francisco

Susan Leal 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.[1] 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). She earned a bachelor's degree in Economics and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.[1]


Beginning in 1976, Leal served as counsel to U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.[1] In 1982, she served as senior consultant to the California State Assembly's Committee on Ways and Means.[1] In 1985, Leal became vice-president of a health care management company.[1] Leal also worked as a businesswoman, a lawyer, and an investigator in state and federal governments.[1]

Leal was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June 1993.[1] She was reelected the following year to a four-year term. While serving on the Board, she chaired its Finance Committee.[1] From 1997 to 2004, Leal served as Treasurer of San Francisco, the City's banker and chief investment officer, winning re-election in 2001 with 87% of the vote.[1] Her duties as Treasurer also included managing all tax and revenue collection for San Francisco. She helped increase tax collection rates, including a 91% increase in delinquent tax collection, representing more than $26 million in additional revenue.[1] Leal helped introduce the City Payment Center – a one-stop shop for city transactions such as transit passes, water bills, and passports – spearheading the city's e-commerce initiative, which was named one of the top e-government projects nationwide and launching the nation's first audio ATM for the visually impaired.[1]

In 2004, Leal was appointed General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a regional utility that delivers water to 2.5 million customers. 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.

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.


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