Prior to becoming a National Urban Fellow, Andrea M. James served as Director of Communications for the Washington Teachers’ Union where she was the union’s spokesperson and oversaw strategic messaging, media relations, and online communication to advocate for more than more than 4,000 public school teachers and support professionals in the nation’s capital.

Andrea also has wide-ranging experience in nonprofit marketing and communications with expertise in brand management, crisis communication, strategic messaging, and publication development to support organizational fundraising and resource development.

Before joining the education labor movement, Andrea provided multifaceted media relations and communications support for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and the capital campaign for the new National Children’s Museum.  She has also served as a consultant for the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education (SHIRE) to support the childhood obesity prevention efforts of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative and the District of Columbia’s Healthy Eating, Active Living social marketing campaign.

In addition, Andrea has held broadcast journalism positions with Hearst Argyle Television and the PBS NewsHour, where she was recognized by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for contributing to the Emmy Award-winning series The Price of Oil: Winners and Losers.

In her spare time, Andrea enjoys mentoring local youth at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area and volunteering with Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) to provide one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities. She is a recipient of the Envest Foundation’s “40under40” public service award and is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. 

As a National Urban Fellow, Andrea hopes to broaden and deepen her capacity to serve vulnerable children and families across the nation.  She is interested in creating educational opportunities as a pathway to economic security in high-needs communities and expanding community-based opportunities for family engagement to eliminate the education achievement gap.