Jake Cavanaugh is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The NAN Project. Brainstorming about how to promote mental health awareness began way back in mid-2015, in response to the death of Jake's sister and Ellen's daughter Nan in 2012. They officially launched The NAN Project at the start of 2016. Nowadays, Jake heads up most of the outreach and training, with the help of an amazing team that is growing every month. His daily activities revolve around connecting with schools around Massachusetts, tracking down Peer Mentors, planning future events, and everything in between.

Jake went to Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in 2000, where Nan also attended. Upon graduating from the University of Miami, with a double major in Political Science and International Studies in 2004, Jake went to work on a presidential campaign in Florida. Jake moved to China in 2005, where he soon met his wife and adopted a mangy street dog named Marley. He spent nearly 10 years living in the tiny metropolis of Suzhou just outside of Shanghai, working at a boutique market research firm. Jake returned to Massachusetts in 2015 and now resides in Beverly with his wife, Marley and their newest addition, a golden retriever names Jasper.