State Board of Education appoints journalist Rupen Fofaria director of operations and policy

By: - October 31, 2023 3:00 pm
The North Carolina Education Building

The North Carolina Education Building in Raleigh. (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

The State Board of Education has named former EducationNC reporter Rupen R. Fofaria director of operations and policy.

State board Chairman Eric Davis announced the hire Tuesday during the board’s biannual planning and work session being held on the East Carolina University Campus.

“Rupen is a familiar face to us as we’ve seen and read his work for the past five years at EdNC where he covered education policy and practices across the state as well as state board meetings,” Davis said.

Fofaria joined EdNC, a nonprofit digital news organization, in 2018. He produced stories that focused on equity and belonging in education.

At the state board, Fofaria will oversee the board’s day-to-day operations, manage its policy agenda and lead its strategic planning efforts.

Fofaria replaces Maria Pitre-Martin who took the job in June 2022. She was hired away in September 2023 to lead the UNCG SERVE Center, which provides research, evaluation an customized support to clients in pursuit of positive educational outcomes for students.

Ruben earned a journalism degree from the University of Maryland and holds a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.

He becomes the state board’s third director of operations and policy since February 2022 when long-time educator Deanna Townsend-Smith stepped aside to become senior director of the Dudley Flood Center of Educational Equity and Opportunity at the Public School Forum of NC.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.