Dakarai I. Aarons is an experienced advocate and policy communications strategist who is Director of Education Policy and Partnerships for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he leads the philanthropy’s grantmaking on education policy and advocacy. He previously served as a communications lead for CZI’s education and ventures work. Before joining CZI in 2018, Dakarai was Vice President of Strategic Communications for the Data Quality Campaign, where he oversaw staff and strategy for a national campaign focused on building public will. Dakarai has directed award-winning media and publicity campaigns and written award-winning news 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 American Youth Policy Forum and chairman of the Wayfinder Foundation’s board of directors. A former longtime board member of the Education Writers Association, he’s a member of the National Press Club and a former committee chairman of the National Association of Black Journalists.