Erika Donalds

Erika Donalds

Visiting Fellow, Center for Education Policy

Erika Donalds is a Visiting Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.

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An education entrepreneur who founded OptimaEd and the Optima Foundation, Erika Donalds is a finance professional who is passionate about expanding education freedom and improving accountability and governance in public schools.

Currently, Donalds serves on the advisory boards for Classical Learning Test, Moms for Liberty, and the Independent Women’s Forum’s Education Freedom Center. Her work to establish a network of classical charter schools delivered the rigor of a classical education to students alongside a focus on forming strong moral character. In addition, she pioneered an immersive learning model through the delivery of classical education with the use of virtual reality technology.

She is a former elected member of the Collier County School Board in Florida who also served on Florida’s 2017–2018 Constitution Revision Commission, the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Education and Workforce Development, and the Florida Gulf Coast University’s Board of Trustees.

Donalds holds a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master’s degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University.