Joaquin Tamayo

Senior Policy Advisor

Joaquin Tamayo, a former high school teacher, principal and federal policymaker, is a Senior Policy Advisor at EducationCounsel, leading on projects related to advancing the science of learning and development to drive equity, improvement, and excellence in US public education. Previously, Joaquin co-founded and was National Director of the Middle School Kindness Challenge at Stand for Children, designed to improve school climate and social emotional learning, as well as reduce unnecessary suspensions, by making the intentional teaching and fostering of kindness commonplace in America's middle schools.

In January 2017, Joaquin completed nearly three years of executive branch service in the Obama Administration as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Elementary and Secondary Education at the United States Department of Education. At USED, he created and led initiatives across the federal government and through public-private partnerships to substantially improve conditions for student learning in the nation's public schools, including Every Student, Every Day, a ground-breaking, nationwide program to help end the crisis of chronic absenteeism affecting eight million students each year; and Healthy Students, Promising Futures, a unique collaboration between the federal government and 13 states and the District of Columbia aimed at enhancing access to quality education and healthcare for 30 million Medicaid enrolled and eligible public school students. Joaquin was also a member of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Federal Taskforce and co-authored the SECURE Rubrics on School-based Policing, which provide guidance to states and school districts on incorporating school resource officers effectively into school learning environments to improve school climate and reduce student arrests.

Prior to his federal service, Joaquin was assistant director of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program, where he managed the Aspen Congressional Education Staff Network. And, in 2005, he led a team of educators to found the Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law (AGL), a small, government and law-themed public high school in New York City’s Lower East Side. Joaquin began his career in education as a social studies teacher and student activities director in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where his mother taught middle school for 37 years.

Joaquin holds a Bachelor’s in political science from Columbia University, a Master’s in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and is a graduate of the New Leaders for New Schools urban principal residency program.