Jonas Philanthropies Announces New Co-Presidents

Lendri Purcell and John Jonas to continue the Jonas family legacy and step into their new role as Co-Presidents in March 2022.

NEW YORK, March 1, 2022 – Today, Jonas Philanthropies is pleased to announce that Lendri Purcell and John Jonas will become the foundation’s next Co-Presidents. Lendri Purcell and John Jonas bring a legacy of advocating for education and healthcare funding for commonly overlooked groups and communities from their previous roles as Co-Vice Presidents of Jonas Philanthropies. Together they will bring their professional expertise and personal passions to collaboratively lead and grow Jonas Philanthropies’ curated philanthropic portfolio to support a range of diverse initiatives that focus on our country’s most urgent healthcare needs.

Jonas Philanthropies’ carefully curated philanthropic portfolio is strategically designed to tackle the growing crisis in our nation’s healthcare system by focusing on nursing and veteran’s health, children’s environmental and climate health, and vision care, and to advocate for state and federal health policy improvements in these areas. Over the past 15 years and under Purcell and Jonas’ leadership, Jonas Philanthropies’ signature program, the Nursing and Veterans Healthcare initiative has invested more than $25 million in 1,400 nurse scholars in all 50 states and ensured that 50% of nurse scholars in its cohort were Black, Indigenous or People of Color. 

Lendri Purcell and John Jonas take over at the helm from Donald Jonas, continuing the Jonas family’s philanthropic legacy of investing in new and innovative healthcare solutions rooted in equity and racial justice, and designed for scalable impact. 

“It is with great enthusiasm that we are able to continue working alongside one another during this next phase of the foundation,” says Lendri Purcell, Co-President of Jonas Philanthropies. “I am looking forward to exploring innovative ways in which we can be more accountable to the communities that have often been overlooked and underinvested in by philanthropy.”

“I am excited to begin this new role today and grateful to have the opportunity to lead this foundation alongside my niece, Lendri. My parents started Jonas Philanthropies to help those in need and it is a privilege to continue the Jonas legacy,” says John Jonas, Co-President of Jonas Philanthropies. “Together with our partners and supporters, Jonas Philanthropies will continue to meet the needs of under-resourced communities with high-impact solutions and advocate for lasting and sustainable change with the goal of transforming healthcare for the better.”

Lendri Purcell is the founder of Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxics Safety (FACTS) and drives the work of the foundation’s Children’s Environmental Health program, tapping into her skills as a children’s rights advocate, community organizer, and seasoned funder. She also spearheaded and manages the new Trees for Climate Health Initiative. Prior to her work in environmental health, Lendri taught special education in Oakland California while creating several enrichment programs to address obstacles to student learning outside of the classroom, increase investments in East Bay youth, and to strengthen the youth development community. In addition, she spearheaded the Jonas Youth Development Initiative which provided over 5M in funding and technical assistance to programs in the San Francisco East Bay for over eight-thousand highly at-risk San Francisco East Bay youth. Lendri also established a youth advisory board reflective of the community to help recommend grants for this initiative.

John Jonas is the Founder and CEO of The Jonas Group, a leading retained executive search firm that specializes in retail and wholesale fashion, and is the number-one search firm for the footwear industry.

A prominent and active member of the Advisory Board of Jonas Philanthropies since its inception, John has been a key player in the growth and development of the organization over the last 10 years and oversees the Jonas Vision Health initiatives. In addition, John is actively involved on the Board of Directors of Hands In For Youth / Vacamas Programs for Youth, a non-profit camp for children from inner-city areas throughout the Greater New York and New Jersey areas.

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About Jonas Philanthropies 

Jonas Philanthropies is transforming our communities for the better by investing where it matters most, in solutions that can be scaled for the most significant impact. Its programs address high-need issues and audiences with high-impact solutions: promoting leadership in nursing and veterans healthcare, preventing and treating low vision and blindness, protecting our children’s environmental health, and taking care of our climate. For more information about Jonas Philanthropies, visit, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.