Bosses for Babies

How This Boss Makes an Impact for Children in Florida

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund activates community support, connects partners, and advances effective ideas for the success of all students. As an independent think-and-do tank, JPEF leverages three key strategies to promote quality public education and help close opportunity gaps for students: research and advocacy, convening partners, and strategic initiatives. Among its priorities, JPEF is proud to help lead the READ JAX campaign, fostering awareness, community engagement, and aligned action to improve student literacy results by 3rd grade in Duval County, which is foundational to our community's success. JPEF's core values include student-centered decision-making and diversity and inclusion. We make decisions first and foremost based on what is in the best interest of children in Duval County, with a special focus on students who face barriers to obtaining a high-quality education. We value diversity of thought, experience, and culture and intentionally include diverse voices among our staff, board, and partners. JPEF maintains a hybrid work environment with considerable flexibility, provides paid leave and health benefits, and has an Infant at Work Program, which allows parents who are employees of JPEF to bring their infant to work with them for up to their first six months after birth.


Rachael serves as President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Having served in government, non-profit, district, and school-based roles, Rachael draws upon significant professional experience at all levels of the education system. A Jacksonville native, Rachael returned to her hometown as JPEF’s Executive Vice President in 2017 before being appointed president in 2018.  Rachael holds a master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida. Rachael serves on the Board of Directors of Baptist Medical Center and Baptist Health System and the Consortium of Florida Education Foundation's Executive Committee. In 2023, she was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council as a Woman of Distinction and was recognized by Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the First Coast’s 40 under 40 in 2020. She is a member of Leadership Florida’s Education Class of 2018 and Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2022. She is the proud wife of Emmanuel Fortune and mother to their children, Nicholas, Elle, and Riley.