Dakarai I. Aarons is communications manager for education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Previously, he was vice president of strategic communications for the Data Quality Campaign, where he leads the development and implementation of evidence-based, 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.
Aarons has directed award-winning media and publicity campaigns for national and international organizations and written award-winning journalism on education policy and practice issues.
Before joining DQC in 2013, Aarons 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, Tenn.) 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.
Besides serving as a vice president of the Education Writers Association’s board, Aarons is a member of the boards of the American Youth Policy Forum and the Wayfinder Foundation. He is a member of the National Press Club and a former committee chairman of the National Association of Black Journalists. A D.C. native, Aarons earned a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he serves on the College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ professional advisory board.