Rachel Aretakis joins the Illinois Answers Project as the first state and solutions editor.

Rachel Aretakis has joined the Illinois Answers Project as the state and solutions editor. 

In her role, she will help launch the newsroom’s statewide “embed” reporting project. The novel program, funded by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, will allow Illinois Answers Project reporters to collaborate with Illinois newsrooms pursuing investigative or solutions-oriented reporting. 

Aretakis comes to the Illinois Project Answers from USA Today, where she worked as a breaking news editor and most recently as the health editor. 

“Rachel is a strong, energetic editor and leader who will help Illinois Answers grow, expand is solutions-focused journalism and partner with state-wide news organizations to bring in-depth journalism to much-needed local audiences,” said Ronnie Ramos, editor in chief of Illinois Answers Project. 

A native of Louisville, Aretakis worked as a digital audience producer and digital editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and will finish an MBA from the University of Kentucky this winter.

“What drew me to the job is the opportunity to help establish the embed program,” Aretakis added. “It’s brand new and nothing like it has been done in Illinois. I’m really looking forward to getting to know these partner newsrooms.”

Aretakis started in the new role on June 5. 

Emeline Posner was an investigative reporting intern with the Illinois Answers Project in 2022 and 2023.