Yakuta Poonawalla

San Francisco Community Programs Manager


Yakuta was born and raised in India, and her love affair with nature began during her first trek to the Himalayas. Since that initiation, she has enjoyed trekking in northern India and Nepal, and has worked with various non-profit organizations to educate, inspire, and cultivate love and respect for the environment. She has led various outdoor trips and programs to introduce youth to nature, and to the need to preserve it.

After studying Social Communications Media at Sophia College in Mumbai, India, she worked with a social enterprise in the cold, arid, Spiti valleylocated at 12,000 feet in the Western Himalayas. She worked with the indigenous population to promote sustainable development, and encourage conservation of the local ecology and resources. After moving to the US, she worked with the Sierra Club in San Francisco to increase participation of diverse youth in various Sierra Club initiatives, and coordinate volunteer and employee workshops for the Beyond Coal Campaign. She was also selected as an International Outings Leader for the Sierra Club.

Since joining the Conservancy, Yakuta has been managing the community and volunteer programs in San Francisco.

She loves running and hiking in the region, and so when she’s not working, you will most likely find her on a trail in the Marin Headlands.