Leona founded BrazilFoundation in June 2000 after retiring from a 20-year career at the United Nations with the Department of Public Information (DPI). As chief of Information Centers Services at the UN, Leona managed a network of 70 centers around the world whose job was to provide information to the media and  NGOs  on  major subject s under discussion at the UN. Prior to that, she headed the DPI’s section for non-governmental organizations, working closely with over 1,600 associated NGOs in all regions of the world. She served as Spokeswoman to the President of the General Assembly in 1995 during the fiftieth anniversary of the UN.