Communication Alumna Conquers Nonprofit Career

Story by Tommiea Jackson, Nicholson News


Tallahassee, Fla. – The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has named UCF Nicholson School of Communication alumna Fonda Anderson, ’84, as chief of staff. In this role, Anderson serves as a key member of the senior leadership team, providing strategic oversight for programs, communication, development and planning processes to advance the foundation’s vision of fostering the opportunity for every man, woman and child in America to secure a better life through literacy.

Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit education management, serving most recently as the chief development officer for one of the nation’s leading K-12 education nonprofits, Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd). During her tenure at ExcelinEd, she led the build of the nonprofit’s funding from start-up to national stature.

“This newly created position is a highly strategic,” said Liza McFadden, president and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation. “Having known Fonda for 15-plus years, I couldn’t be more pleased to be bringing a top-notch thought partner to our leadership team.”

Before embarking on a nonprofit career, Anderson served many roles in the communication field, including journalist, public relations practitioner and corporate marketer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication/journalism from the University of Central Florida in 1984.

During my time at UCF, we were still a country campus with just a few buildings, a fountain and a strong wind running through! Yet students from everywhere were clamoring to get into the communication program,” said Anderson. “We had a state-of-the-art radio-television studio and professors who were accomplished professionals in every corner of the communication field before becoming our teachers.”

Anderson said that her time at UCF was more than worth it.

“It was a tough, demanding and inspiring experience – especially for a student who was one of the first in her family to go to college. My UCF degree has been my magic door-opener, guiding my career choices and providing me with skills and knowledge I use each and every day. Through education, all rise.”

About the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy: The Barbara Bush Foundation is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. The Foundation was established by First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989, and today is a public charity which aspires to achieve a vision of fostering the opportunity for every man, woman and child to secure a better life through literacy. To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s commitment to promote family literacy in homes across America, please visit or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter (@BarbaraBushFdn).

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