Most recently, Ruth McFarlane served as the Director of Development and Community Engagement at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in San Francisco and the Director of Programs at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and the Director. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, McFarlane practiced law as an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in Dallas and Linklaters in New York.
McFarlane holds an M.S.W. from the University of California Berkeley, and a J.D. from Cornell Law School. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana Wesleyan University. She sits on the board of Health Access Foundation, an organization that aims to provide quality, affordable health care for all in the state of California, and has previously served on the boards of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Homeownership SF, and City of Refuge United Church of Christ Oakland.