Leesa has over 30 years’ experience in the charity sector, from frontline fundraiser to executive director and trustee.

She began her career in the USA at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, then the American Cancer Society. After returning to the UK she worked in various fundraising and engagement roles at Business in the Community, Save the Children and the Dartington Hall Trust. In 2009 Leesa joined the RNLI as head of Engagement, going on to become Director of Lifesaving and Fundraising, leading the lifeboat, lifeguard and flood rescue operation as well as the fundraising team.

In 2018 Leesa left the RNLI to set up By the Waves, her charity consultancy, where she advises on strategy development, income generation, governance and compliance. She also coaches sector leaders and is an interim charity Director and interim CEO (most recently interim CEO at Jeans for Genes). Leesa has been a Trustee at the Royal Osteoporosis Society and The Big Issue Foundation. She is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Dorset NHS Integrated Care Board and a Fellow of the RSA.