Leila is a native of Asheville, NC, but lived in several states and overseas in Vietnam, Okinawa, and Japan during her father’s career with the US Navy and the USO.
After studying in San Diego and Tokyo, she earned her BA and MA at Stetson University in Florida and returned to North Carolina where she worked as a reporter, anchor, and producer for WLOS-TV in Asheville and WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
Leila recently retired as Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Relations at Western Carolina University and now works with her husband, Luke Hyde (an attorney and chair of the 11th Congressional District), at their country inn, the Historic Calhoun House in Bryson City.
Leila serves as Treasurer for the Swain County Democratic Party and Swain County Democratic Women.
She and Luke have one son who is a lawyer in the NC Attorney General’s office.