JACKSONVILLE, FL (September 7, 2023) -- The Jessie Ball duPont Fund (“duPont Fund”) announced today that Sujata Narayan has been named chief operating officer of the Jacksonville-based private foundation, which seeks to create communities of belonging for the people, institutions and communities that its founder Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved.

“Sujata is an experienced foundation administrator, and a social impact, philanthropy, and community development practitioner with strong roots in urban planning. She is passionate about collaboration, inclusion, and equity and we’re excited to have her helping us further instill a culture of high impact and purpose,” said Mari Kuraishi, President of the duPont Fund. “After an extensive national search, we are thrilled to welcome a leader with hometown ties to Jacksonville who innately understands our dedication to the places that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved.”

As Chief Operating Officer, Sujata will oversee talent development, business systems, resource management and grants management and evaluation. In this capacity, she will work alongside the duPont Fund’s president and Board of Trustees to ensure that the Fund’s operations and administration meet the highest standard of excellence and effectiveness, while continuing the Fund’s commitment to approaching all its internal and external initiatives with a diversity, equity and inclusion lens.

“It’s a privilege to join an organization that is actively shaping, in so many positive ways, this community that shaped me as a young person,” said Sujata. “The duPont Fund team is passionate, energetic and committed to using their influence to create spaces where more people truly feel they belong.”

With deep family roots in Jacksonville for more than four decades, Sujata has more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning and execution, talent management, program management, grantmaking and foundation operations.

Prior to joining the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Sujata served for more than 13 years with the world’s leading digital infrastructure company, Equinix, where she ultimately held the position of director of community impact and Equinix Foundation. She developed and implemented the company’s community impact strategy and employee engagement programs.  She also oversaw corporate giving and employee volunteering, which generated more than $12 million for more than 2500 global organizations and contributed more than 100,000 service hours.  She oversaw the team that established and operationalized the Equinix Foundation as a private grantmaking entity, where she was fully responsible for day-to-day operations, multimillion dollar budget oversight, strategic planning and impact measurement, among other key functions. Before that, Sujata worked for various nonprofit organizations and foundations including The Christensen Fund that supports Indigenous Peoples in advancing their inherent rights, dignity and self-determination.

Sujata earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in anthropology and international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor: in urban planning from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and in environmental policy and planning from the School of Environment and Sustainability. In addition, she is a Family Advisory Council Member at Nemours Children’s Health in Jacksonville, where she also serves on its Family Advisory Council for the Hematology and Oncology Department.

Sujata is one of two recent hires at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. In June 2023, Sarah Reardon joined the Fund as Program Officer, stewarding relationships with grantees in Port St. Joe, Florida and the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as throughout the country.

Prior to joining the duPont Fund in 2023, Sarah worked as Director, Academic and Student Achievement for Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ). She led the U.S. Department of Education-funded $2.2 million grant program that expanded FSCJ support of limited-income students by strengthening academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability. Sarah also worked as a grant writer for FSCJ, successfully generating more than $15 million in federal, state and local grants for the institution. She brings more than 15 years of experience in both student affairs and academic affairs at Florida State College at Jacksonville, University of North Florida, Duke University and North Carolina State University.

Sarah earned her B.A. in English from Elon University and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. She lives in the San Marco area of Jacksonville with her family, including two daughters. She is a doctoral student in the University of Florida's Higher Education Administration Ed.D. program, where her research interests are in higher education policy, culturally responsive undergraduate teaching and learning, and embedding strengths-based education into first-year experience curriculum.


Written by
Melanie Cost Young