Insights into nonprofit leadership & governance

Jason Purnell named President of James S. McDonnell Foundation

October 14, 2022  

BoardWalk Consulting is pleased to congratulate Jason Purnell on his new role as President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, effective February 1, 2023.

Purnell brings to the Foundation vast experience in St. Louis working with many different constituencies, bringing together multiple groups to create and implement strategies for change. Purnell will focus on setting a vision for the foundation’s new focus, increasing prosperity and enhancing the quality of life in St. Louis, working closely with the JSMF Board to build out the programmatic investment strategy in the St. Louis area. Leading the search for a new president, JSMF engaged BoardWalk Consulting, an executive search firm headquartered in Atlanta specializing in identifying senior non-profit leadership.

An author of the landmark report, “For the Sake of All”, Purnell proposes solutions informed by evidence and community input, identifying a call to action to community members and stakeholders to improve the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis. The report is considered a roadmap for policy makers, community leaders, health care providers, educators and others for progress and change in St. Louis.

“The McDonnell family has a long history of advocacy and financial support for education and discovery within the St. Louis area,” said Purnell. “I’m excited to be able to build a strategy for philanthropic giving in this new phase of the foundation’s development that advances the board’s goals for expanding economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for all in our region.”

Leading the search for this newly created position was Crystal Stephens, Senior Director, and Michelle Hall, Senior Research Associate.

Read the full statement here.

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