Jessica Cunningham Akoto
Jessica Cunningham Akoto joined KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools as the Chief Executive Officer in June 2018. Jessica started her career as a 4th grade teacher in D.C. Public Schools. She later transitioned to KIPP DC as a sixth-grade math teacher at the region’s flagship school: KEY Academy. Jessica founded KIPP DC’s third middle school, WILL Academy, and served as the school’s principal for four years. She 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. Most recently, 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 improve outcomes for students and alumni.
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. Most recently, Jessica was named a 2020 Minority Business Leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Jessica currently sits on the board of directors of EdFuel and the KIPP Foundation. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and exploring Philadelphia’s best restaurants.