About Us

About Us

Discover our mission, story, and leadership.

The Cox Foundation Explained

The Una Chapman Cox Foundation is dedicated to a strong professional U.S. Foreign Service.  In collaboration with the Department of State and other program partners, the Foundation seeks to support the Foreign Service with particular focus on recruitment and retention, professional development, and public awareness.  Our programs include reports and recommendations on the function of diplomacy as well as programs that contribute to professional development, diversity and inclusiveness, support for family members, and public outreach.  Current and past programs and activities supported by the Cox Foundation include oral histories and podcasts, sabbatical fellowships, diplomatic seminars for aspiring Foreign Service Officers, as well as workshops on various aspects of professional development.  

 A 509(a)3 and 501(c)3 tax exempt foundation with its financial office in Texas and its program office in Washington, D.C., the Cox Foundation is governed by four trustees working with an advisory board, the Policy Council, composed of active duty and retired Foreign Service officers and other distinguished individuals with experience in public service, education and charitable organizations. 

The Foundation

Our Mission

The Cox Foundation lends its support to programs that align with its values and goals.

Our Mission
Our Story

The Foundation was founded by Mrs. Una Chapman Cox, an enthusiastic world traveler whose encounter with a Foreign Service Officer would have a lasting impact on her life.

Our Story

The Leadership at the Cox Foundation is comprised of our Trustees and Policy Council, who offer insight into many programs and program decisions.

Our Trustees

Our Staff

Jo Ellen Powell, Executive Director

Ambassador Jo Ellen Powell served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Resources (2016-2017), U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania (2010-2013), and Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany (2006-2009).  She grew up in a Foreign Service family, living in Panama, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, and Laos.

Ms. Powell joined the Foreign Service in January 1980 and has served in Jordan, Lebanon, Italy, France, Australia, Germany, and Mauritania, in addition to domestic assignments including the Operations Center, the Bureaus of European Affairs and Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Bureau of Human Resources, and the Office of the Secretary, Executive Secretariat.  Ms. Powell is a graduate of Centre College of Kentucky.

Alexis Alexander-Jackson

Alexis Alexander-Jackson started at the Cox Foundation in April of 2022. Prior to joining the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, Alexis worked as an administrative intern at the World Affairs Council – Houston, researching potential sponsors for fundraising events that promoted international cultural education.

She also worked as an assistant for the Counseling and Disabilities Services at the University of St. Thomas – Houston, marketing and organizing outreach events catered towards student wellness. Furthermore, she also had student experience working as an Assistant Vice President for an Executive Student Organization, planning and implementing different programs catered towards diverse student population groups on campus.

Alexis currently holds a masters degree in Public Policy from American University and a BA in International Studies from the University of St. Thomas – Houston.