Since taking the helm as Chief Executive Officer of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida in 2005, Rena Coughlin has focused on strengthening the nonprofit sector. She has made significant progress as the leading nonprofit sector advocate helping governments, philanthropic organizations, and citizens understand the importance and power of local nonprofits -- both in terms of quality of life and economic impact in the region.
Previously Rena led Girls, Inc. of Jacksonville as CEO, providing programs for over 1,800 youth across multiple outreach sites. As Special Projects Manager for Leadership Florida, she managed programs and special projects such as gubernatorial debates for the statewide community building organization. Earlier in her career she spent eight years in Washington D.C. as a legislative aide to Senator Bob Graham working on legislation across a broad spectrum of issues important to Florida constituents. Joining the Peace Corps immediately after graduating from the University of Florida, Rena served in Liberia, West Africa. Working as a volunteer she helped introduce fish farming as a source of protein and family revenue, raised funds to construct a rural medical clinic, and developed a long-term strategy on behalf of the World Bank for Liberian fresh water aquaculture.