Leila came to the United States from the U.K. in 1981 to run the New York office of Granada Television International, part of the ITV Network. She was responsible for co-productions, sales to PBS, pay and basic cable, syndication and video, corporate matters and projects for international sponsorship.
Previously she worked in corporate planning and business development at the headquarters of the Granada Group, London; Boston Consulting Group; Arthur D. Little Inc.
Most recently she has focused on philanthropy serving on the boards of Women in Need, African Wildlife Foundation, Women’s Project and the American Associates of the National Theatre (UK).
She has traveled widely in the Middle East and is a supporter of INAASH, a co-operative encouraging and developing the sale of embroidery from the Palestinian camps in south Lebanon, and of the Unite Lebanon Youth Project, which supports the education of Palestinians in the camps in Lebanon.
Leila’s father was British and her mother Lebanese. She speaks French and a little Arabic. She is married to Mickey Straus and has three children: sons Scott (42), Ben (20) and daughter Alexandra (25). She studied law at Leeds University and social administration at the London School of Economics.