Jacob Waters
Manager of Thought Leadership

Jacob joined Education First in April 2017. As the Manager of Thought Leadership, he manages the external communication and dissemination of Education First’s work in order to maximize the firm’s impact. He also provides direct communications and public affairs support to clients.

Jacob believes that every child in every neighborhood deserves a great education. His passion for educational equity was shaped by his experience teaching elementary science and social studies—as well as coaching basketball and advising student government—in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Most recently he was the Manager of Public Affairs for the Philadelphia School Partnership, a non-profit that seeks to expand access to quality schools for low-income students in Philadelphia.

Though Jacob lives in Philadelphia and is a graduate of Haverford College, he maintains a healthy amount of pride for his home state of New Jersey. Outside of work he enjoys writing and playing music, hiking, and eating unusual sandwiches. He is also a diehard fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Braves, and New York Jets, which has taught him to embrace delayed gratification.

Jacob's expertise

  • Communication & Advocacy
  • Writing
  • Quality School Options & Governance
  • Resource Use & Impact
  • Strategy Development and Implementation Support

Volunteer/Civic Affiliations

  • PhilaSoup
  • PhillyCORE Leaders
  • Teach for America Leading Systems Fellowship

Jacob likes


  • Playing a solo show in Philly.

  • From right to left, 76ers legend Allen Iverson and soon-to-be legend Joel Embiid.