Heidi Guarino
Senior Consultant

Heidi brings an extensive background in state education agency leadership, policy development, engagement and communications. She helps local, state and national education leaders, foundations and advocacy organizations to make bold decisions, strengthen policies and ensure the right stakeholders are heard and engaged along the way. Her past and current portfolio includes the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Data Quality Campaign, the PIE Network and Teach Plus. 

Heidi is the child of public school teachers and grew up in a family where working hard was never a choice—it was expected. Her parents modeled that by working multiple jobs to put her through college, and she has spent her professional career working to build that culture of high expectations in communities around the country. Heidi previously served as chief of staff and communications director for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Earlier in her career she spent a decade covering national, state and local education news for The Associated Press in Boston and for several regional newspapers in eastern Massachusetts.

Originally from Rhode Island, Heidi attended Emerson College in Boston, where she studied professional writing and began her career in journalism. She currently lives in Salem, MA with her husband, their sons Owen and Jacob, and their two labs, Jedi and Rocky. On sunny days Heidi can often be found taking Zoom calls from her backyard, surrounded by dogs, a fledgling garden and questionable WiFi.

Heidi's expertise

  • College- and Career-Ready Expectations
  • Teacher Leadership, Teacher Voice and Career Pathways
  • Grantmaking Strategy and Effectiveness
  • Educator and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Communication and Advocacy

Recent clients

  • Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
  • Teach Plus
  • Grantmakers for Education
  • PIE Network
  • Data Quality Campaign
  • NoVo Foundation

Heidi likes


  • My family in our favorite place, by the water.

  • Facing my fears. I may never do this again but I’m glad I was able to do it once.