Jessica Cunningham Akoto | CEO, KIPP Philadelphia
Jessica Cunningham Akoto joined KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools as the Chief Executive Officer in June 2018. Previously, she worked as the KIPP Foundation’s Executive in Residence, where she provided critical on-site support to KIPP regional leaders to identify and execute the steps needed to produce superior results and healthy growth. Jessica joined the KIPP Foundation after 14 years with KIPP DC. She began her career as the sixth-grade math teacher at the region’s flagship school: KEY Academy. Upon completing the Fisher Fellowship, Jessica founded KIPP DC’s third middle school, WILL Academy, and served as the school’s principal for four years. Jessica then served as a Chief Academic Officer for two years before deciding to return to school leadership in 2012 as the principal of KIPP DC’s high school, KIPP DC College Prep. Jessica earned a B.S. in African American History from Florida A&M University and a Masters in Elementary Education from American University. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a 2015 Milken Educator Award winner. Jessica currently sits on the board of directors for both School Leader Lab and EdFuel. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and exploring Philadelphia’s best restaurants.