Carra Cote-Ackah

Chairperson, Surdna Foundation

Carra Cote-Ackah, a fifth generation Andrus family member, is Chairperson of the Surdna Board of Directors. She joined the board in 2011 and served as Vice Chairperson for four years. She also served on the Andrus Family Fund board for six years, the last two as board chair.

Presently Carra is the President of the Vanguard Group Foundation and Executive Director of Community Stewardship at Vanguard, where she leads the company’s global philanthropic and volunteer programs. Previously she was a Director at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy; she has transitioned to a Senior Fellow role to provide ongoing help to donors and impact investors seeking to move from good intentions to high impact. She also is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a global leadership network, and an Executive Forum member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Carra holds a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University, a M.A. from Duke University, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she was also awarded the Morgenthau Public Administration Fellowship in support of excellence in public interest and public policy.

Carra and her husband live in Bryn Mawr, PA, with their three children. She is also active within her family’s business, the Cote Family Companies, which has lodging, hospitality, and recreational holdings in Arizona and Minnesota.


Family Foundation Trustee Salon: New York City Regional Convening

Posted on August 2, 2023 by Carra Cote-Ackah, Don Chen

Aerial view of Central Park in New York City
Join us for an opportunity to meet with peers and explore some of the most interesting challenges family foundation trustees face in their unique roles. Learn how peer foundations have navigated big decisions or evolved their practices over time. In partnership with Philanthropy New York, this event will build on NCFP’s principles of effective family philanthropy—accountability, equity, relationships, reflection and… Read More

Leaning into Racial Justice with the Surdna Foundation and Andrus Family Fund

Posted on March 29, 2021 by Carra Cote-Ackah, Kaitlin Miles, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Don Chen

Amid a national reckoning with race and the pandemic, foundations are leaning into racial justice like never before. Yet many foundations are grappling with how to fund racial equity and the best way forward for their institution and grantees. In this Community Conversation, the Surdna Foundation and Andrus Family Fund will explore their decision to increase funding for racial justice,… Read More