Susan Leal is a native San Franciscan and first generation American born to working class parents who came to California from Mexico. Susan's father Raymond started as a day laborer and through hard work became a union boilermaker. Her mother Louise was a homemaker and bookkeeper.
Though neither of Susan's parents graduated from high school, they instilled in their children a love of learning and the values of education and work. Through weekly visits with her father to the Mission Branch Library, afternoons at the Eureka Valley Rec. Center and as a student at Presentation High School, Susan learned that San Francisco was a special place of openness and opportunity for all.
Susan received her undergraduate degree from the U.C Berkeley School of Economics and received a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. Upon graduating, Susan went to Washington, DC and served as a staff attorney to the U.S. House Oversight & Investigations Committee. She then served as General Counsel for the California Assembly Ways & Means Committee, where she received hands-on experience balancing state budgets and making government fiscal policies.
Susan left the State Assembly to become a successful businesswoman who created jobs and met a payroll, launching a health care startup with three colleagues. Susan managed the business and helped it grow into a publicly traded company that employs thousands today.
In 1993, Susan became the first Latina & Lesbian to serve on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where she chaired the Finance Committee, co-authored San Francisco's landmark domestic partners bill, and passed innovative legislation to expand childcare for working parents. In 1997, Susan was elected City Treasurer for the first time with 58% of the vote.
Since becoming Treasurer in 1998, her investment policies and decisions have produced a greater return on investment than any major county and the State. Susan became the first Treasurer in California to institute "socially-responsible" screens on the city's investments to make sure they're pro-worker, pro-consumer and pro-environment. In 2001, an overwhelming 87% of city voters rewarded Susan Leal with a second term as City Treasurer.
Susan serves on the Boards of numerous community organizations, including Emerge, Safehouse and the AIDS Emergency/Breast Cancer Emergency Funds. She lives with her partner Susan Hirsch in their Jordan Park home, where they have raised two children - Jessica and Hayden.