Barbara Dalio serves as Founder and Director of Dalio Education, which collaborates with public school educators, schools, non-profit organizations, and communities across Connecticut to advance positive outcomes for young people. She also serves as co-Founder and Director of Dalio Philanthropies.
Barbara was born in New York, grew up in Spain, and graduated from the University of Madrid. She returned to the United States when she was 25 and worked at the Whitney Museum in New York prior to getting married. Raising four sons in Connecticut, Barbara saw firsthand the challenges students, families, and educators face on a daily basis. This perspective grew into her commitment to helping public school teachers and supporting efforts that strengthen Connecticut’s public schools, especially for students who are struggling the most.
As the co-founder and Board Chair of the Connecticut RISE Network, an independent non-profit organization, Barbara works to support the highest-need high schools in the state. RISE partners with nine high schools across eight school districts to support educators in improving student achievement for more than 13,000 students.
In 2016, Barbara initiated the Connecticut Opportunity Project in partnership with youth-serving organizations to support their efforts to positively impact young people who are disengaged or disconnected from high school and help them graduate and succeed in their lives. Barbara also commissioned research, Untapped Potential, that helped raise awareness around and advocate for the 39,000 students in Connecticut who are disengaged or disconnected from school, work, and community.
In the Spring of 2020, Barbara partnered with state and local leaders to purchase and distribute 60,000 laptops to Connecticut high school students most in need when the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools into remote and hybrid learning. Barbara also formed collaborations with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, leaders in cities and towns, and major internet companies to provide thousands of low-income families with free high-speed internet access.
In August 2021, based on her many conversations with teachers, Barbara created Teachers of Connecticut, an online platform for teachers to tell their own stories, in their own words. Over the years, Barbara has helped more than 1,000 teachers to pursue professional development opportunities through collaborations with Fund For Teachers and Lincoln Center Education. Barbara has also provided resources to hundreds of Connecticut classrooms through DonorsChoose.org.
In recognition of her collaborative work, Barbara has received the Connecticut Association of Schools’ 2018 Distinguished Friend of Education Award, the City of New Haven’s Community Care Award, and the Meriden Board of Education’s Community Support Award.
Barbara and her husband, Ray, live in Connecticut and have four sons, three grandsons, and one granddaughter.