Dakarai I. Aarons is an experienced education advocate and policy communications strategist. He serves as the communications manager for education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Before joining CZI, Dakarai was previously Vice President of Strategic Communications for the Data Quality Campaign, where he led the development and implementation of multi-platform strategic communications, internal knowledge management and public engagement strategies designed to support DQC’s mission to advance the effective use of education data to improve student achievement. He oversaw a team of professionals responsible for digital strategy, media outreach, editorial strategy, crisis communications, publications and partner engagement. He has directed award-winning media and publicity campaigns and written award-winning coverage on education policy and practice issues.
Before joining DQC in 2013, Dakarai was director of education outreach and policy for CommunicationWorks, a leading national education public affairs firm. He has also been a reporter for Education Week and The (Memphis, TN) Commercial Appeal. His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Des Moines Register, and The Dallas Morning News, among other publications. Dakarai is a board member of the Education Writers Association, and chairman the Wayfinder Foundation. In addition, he’s a member of the National Press Club and a former board member of the Education Writers Association. A native of Washington, DC, Dakarai earned a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.