Dakota leads Lumina's community mobilization work, which focuses on leveraging cross-sector partnerships to make major gains in postsecondary attainment.
Dakota's prior work in designing and operating collaborative efforts to solve social challenges guides his work at Lumina. Serving in a dual role as director of strategic partnerships and projects, and director of college access at Chicago Public Schools, he was responsible for developing and driving a city-wide vision of postsecondary access, support, and success for over 400,000 students and the creation of the Chicago Higher Education Compact, an initiative with the expressed goal of increasing Chicago Public Schools’ four-year college graduation rate to 60% by 2025. Prior to that, Dakota designed and implemented award-winning urban teacher preparation programs that place communities at the center, cultivating education talent through community partnership and immersion.
Dakota's expertise is rooted in using influence and local cross-sector organizing in creating social change. Bringing his skills as an educator, musician, nonprofit leader, and city leader, Dakota seeks to support those who improve the human condition through partnership.
He holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Illinois State University and professional education license in K-12 music. When he isn't playing his tuba, Dakota spends time with his wife, Colleen, and their dog, Otis, in downtown Indianapolis.