Press Release: The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Announces New CEO

Contact: Autumn Lee 

Communications Director 

Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida 

O: 904-425-1183 


The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Announces New CEO 

After a national search for the next leader to take the helm at the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, the Board of Directors announced today that Dawn Lockhart, former Director of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Northeast Florida and former CEO of the nonprofit Family Foundations of Jacksonville will be the next Chief Executive Officer of the organization.  Ms. Lockhart will officially join the Nonprofit Center on January 2, 2024 but will begin working with the Nonprofit Center team December 18, 2023 to ensure a smooth transition. 

“We chose our new CEO for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida because of her vision to inspire positive change,” Board Chair Lisa V. Johnson said. “Dawn’s proven commitment, strategic mindset, passion for our mission, and extensive reach into the local nonprofit sector convinced us that she is the catalyst needed to lead our organization toward greater impact and success.” 

Ms. Lockhart’s experience includes serving as a Director on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1984 and has extensive experience in leading and serving on a variety of boards and committees. Ms. Lockhart is a long-time resident of the First Coast and has a true passion for the community she serves.  

During her time at the City of Jacksonville, Ms. Lockhart led the inaugural Mayor’s Downtown Homeless Taskforce, a collaboration of nonprofits that resulted in a 39% reduction in homelessness. She also led the multisector 2019 and 2022 Jacksonville Housing Strategy Summits and catalyzed the Jacksonville Community Land Trust to advance affordable housing strategies. Ms. Lockhart developed and led the community goal, investment, and partnership analysis of $1.5 billion in annual quality-of-life investments and published the results on the new municipal website to promote transparency and accountability for citizens.   

Ms. Lockhart was recently selected as a 2023 Council on Foundations-HUD Secretary’s Awardee for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships for the success of the inaugural Office of Strategic Partnerships model. She was also selected as member of the Leap of Reason Ambassador Community, a national network of accomplished social sector executives, in 2022.  To view Ms. Lockhart’s full biographyvisit

“I am so honored to have been selected to serve as the future CEO of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and am grateful to the Transition Committee and the Board of Directors for their thoughtful process of selecting me as their next executive to lead the organization and its members to success,” Ms. Lockhart said. “As a longtime member and partner of the Nonprofit Center, I am proud to follow in the footsteps of such an amazing legacy of leadership and am excited to work alongside the Board, staff and members to achieve our important vision and mission. Continuing to champion and advance the high performance of the nonprofit sector, through advocacy, innovation, strategic partnerships and results, is the most important work ahead to ensure all communities, neighborhoods, families and individuals can thrive and I can’t wait to get started.” 

Lockhart succeeds the Nonprofit Center’s longtime CEO, Rena Coughlin, who lauded the choice, “Dawn has the experience and credibility to take on the role of the local sector’s advocate.  She understands our sector, our region, and our strengths. I’m delighted that the Board of Directors chose someone with such strong, local knowledge and connections.”  

The Nonprofit Center is a vital support system for our local nonprofits. We provide services, programs, and information resources for our members while advocating for the Northeast Florida nonprofit sector locally and at the state level. We provide local government, civic and business leaders, and the media insights and information to promote smart decision-making and public support for local nonprofits. Visit to learn more. 

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