Leslie Thurston

Senior Director of Talent & Culture

Human Resources


Leslie Thurston, JD, PHR is Senior Director of Talent and Culture for YWCA Central Alabama, whose mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Thurston, a Michigan native, earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Florida A&M University and her Juris Doctor from University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, she moved to Georgia where she practiced civil law in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. She has worked as a Guardian ad Litem for the family courts and advocate for pro-bono representation of underserved and indigent clients in civil matters.

After moving to Alabama, Thurston continued her advocacy work and eventually decided to pursue a career in human resources.  She joined the YWCA team in July 2022, bringing more than 10 years of human resources experience working to help Alabama for-profit and not-for-profit business grow and train a talented workforce.

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