Spitfire Strategies

Spitfire Spotlight: Aketa Williams, Director

How are you sparking change as a Spitfire these days?

The majority of my clients are strengthening aspects of public education so that all students have access to highly effective teachers, classroom lessons that drive results and schools that focus on their outcomes. I help them develop the smart strategies and communications tools needed to spark change in a meaningful way.

What made you want to be a Spitfire?

I love America and am committed to leaving the country better than how I inherited it. My belief that we should live out our bedrock principals in all sectors and for all people is why I’ve dedicated my career to public service. Though I’m no longer in the public sector, at Spitfire I can invest in and support a diverse set of organizations working toward a better nation. It’s heart-work for me.

And I’m lucky that I joined the team. My colleagues are whip-smart, passionate, joyful–another reason that I enjoy coming into work.

Where were you before Spitfire?

During the Obama Administration, I was an appointee at the Department of Education, where I served for five years. Chief among my responsibilities was designing strategies and tactics to connect the department with key stakeholders, including members of Congress and their staffs, college students and high school seniors. My favorite project was expanding access to high-quality preschool for 400,000 four year-olds from families with limited means. Quality early education can change a child’s entire trajectory. Truly, that’s what all of our work was about: empowering states, districts and teachers to further open the gates of opportunity and equity in education so that all kids can thrive.

What’s your favorite activity to do in D.C.?

During the spring and fall, my family and I enjoy tracking down new parks and walking their wooded trails. When the weather gets extreme we take advantage of our museums (The National Gallery of Art is a favorite) and toddler-friendly bouncy houses.

Read the rest of Aketa’s bio here

“This has been a tremendous eye opener. It shows us how to pull the aspects of communications skills, from the message, to the audience. It forced us to identify our strengths and our weaknesses in an effort to become more strategic in how we prepare our messages and communicate them.”

- Training Participant

Getting Your Story Covered: Tips for Top-Notch Media Pitching Part Two

Mike Carter-Conneen

By Mike Carter-Conneen
Director

  In the first installment of this two-part series, I shared some insights from my years working in TV news and media relations, focusing on the best methods to get your pitches seen by reporters. In this part, I review some strategies for increasing the odds those reporters will actually… (read more)

An E.D.’s Guide to Essential Strategic Communication Know-How, Compliments of Spitfire’s Executive Leadership Program

Kristen Grimm

By Kristen Grimm
President

  I’ve been working with a number of new executive directors this past year. After years of hard work, or in some instances, after waking up from a dream about a new organization that MUST exist, these people found themselves with all eyes on them. From the moment they updated… (read more)

COAL + ICE: Overcoming Barriers to Spark Climate Action

AnaChristina Arana

By AnaChristina Arana
Account Coordinator

  “One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from the [IPCC] report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working… (read more)

Sign up to receive Spitfire Sparks

You’ll receive our latest smarts on the causes you care about and updates on our free tools.