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Mario Cardona Selected for Pahara Fellowship for Education Leaders

February 03, 2022

Mario Cardona, Child Care Aware® of America’s Chief of Policy and Practice, has been selected for a Pahara Fellowship, a one-year program that identifies exceptional leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public education, especially those programs serving low-income children and communities. 

The Fellowship provides these leaders with the unique opportunity to step back from their demanding daily work to reflect with peers on their collective and individual impact as leaders and change agents. Fellows challenge each other to think beyond traditional silos and sector boundaries to develop strategies that enhance their effectiveness as leaders, address leadership challenges in public education, and accelerate the improvements needed to provide high-quality learning opportunities for all of our nation’s children.  

“I am honored to be selected for the Pahara Fellowship and look forward to learning alongside the members of my cohort,” said Cardona.  

To learn more about Cardona’s cohort of Pahara Fellows, visit 

Cardona joined CCAoA in January 2021 and provides leadership and outreach to the government, CCAoA members and the general public on issues relating to the early care and education system. He previously served in the Obama Administration as the Senior Policy Advisor for Elementary and Secondary Education on the White House Domestic Policy Council, and also held senior roles in the U.S. Senate, including as a principal advisor to the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. While serving in Congress, Cardona wrote and led staff negotiations to pass the Child Care & Development Block Grant Act of 2014, a law that comprehensively updated the quality and safety standards in federally subsidized child care for the first time in nearly 20 years. 

Topics: Press Release

Written by CCAoA