Leah Laxamana is honored to be a member of the National Urban Fellows Class of 2013. Through her pursuit of higher education and a partnership with a mentor, she hopes to apply her diverse experience in business, nonprofit and government sectors in bridging the community with visionary leaders and developing into a more impactful social change agent.

Leah grew up in the Philippines and graduated from Ateneo de Manila University (a Loyola School) with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a minor in Hispanic studies. She has lived and worked in San Francisco since 2000 and is currently a project coordinator with the executive search and talent management firm, Korn/Ferry International.

From 2006 to 2008, Leah served as a Municipal Development Volunteer for Peace Corps Honduras collaborating with the Municipality of Olanchito in various projects including the construction of a children’s library, implementation of civic-cultural activities, training and education of women and youth in gender and equity issues, citizen participation, dance and cultural diversity.

In 2011, Leah was selected as the first fellow of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), an association dedicated to fostering the professional advancement of Filipinas in the U.S. During her fellowship Leah assumed various roles during a year-long fellowship that included being a producer of a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues (an anti-domestic violence campaign); editor of two print magazines and a weekly online newsletter; and coordinator for a leadership conference and various networking events.

In March, the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition (PAAWBAC) selected Leah as one of its Monarch Awardees for 2012. The award was established to recognize emerging API women leaders who inspire those around them and who are making outstanding contributions at a young age.  Additionally, Leah has been active over the years in community and professional development endeavors with various groups including the Cornerstone Church of San Francisco, Abadá Capoeira, Year Up Bay Area, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and as an officer for the San Francisco Toastmasters. Leah is also fluent in Tagalog, Kapampangan and Spanish, and conversant in Portuguese.