OneJax CEO Elizabeth Andersen. | OneJax

Former Duval School Board chair will take over OneJax

Published on January 22, 2024 at 11:34 am

Former Duval County School Board chair Elizabeth Andersen has been hired as OneJax’s new CEO.

Andersen is a licensed mental health counselor and serves as chair of the city’s Mental Health Subcommittee. She also has spent time with OneJax, an organization dedicated to diversity in the community.

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“After an extensive national search for the right person to lead OneJax into the future, we found her in our own backyard,” OneJax board chair Mobeen Rathore said in a news release.

Andersen joined the OneJax board in July. “When the position became available this past fall, she decided to throw her hat in the ring and we’re delighted that she did,” Rathore said. “We see Elizabeth as a catalyst for positive change, championing initiatives focused on social equity, resource accessibility, and the common good. She is dedicated and comes to this position with a great sense of purpose.”

OneJax describes itself as an interfaith organization promoting respect and understanding among people of different religions, races, cultures, orientations and identities. OneJax separated in early March from the University of North Florida as the state tried to strip higher education of diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

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OneJax has reset itself as a separate nonprofit, stating when it separated from UNF that it did not want the 53-year-old organization’s core mission and vision to be restrained or restricted.

A University of Florida graduate, Andersen was a Duval County Public Schools teacher before receiving her master’s degree in mental health counseling at UNF.  She was a Duval County School Board member, then its chair before conservative parent April Carney beat her in 2022’s election.

Andersen also spent several years leading a team of community-based mental health counselors with the Child Guidance Center, working with multiple nonprofit organizations to deliver in-home and in-school counseling to children and families in underserved neighborhoods.

Andersen begins her tenure as CEO on Feb. 5.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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