FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) today announced the addition of two new staff members: Taifa Smith Butler and Wesley Tharpe. Butler joins the organization as its deputy director and Tharpe as a policy analyst.
As deputy director, Butler will provide strategic direction on public policy research and data analysis. She will lead a team of four analysts covering a wide range of policy areas including taxes and economic development, health care, education, and poverty.
Butler brings more than 15 years of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Prior to accepting the deputy director position, she served as the Policy and Communications Director for Georgia Family Connection Partnership and held various positions with the Georgia Academy for Children and Youth Professionals and MBIA Muni Services/Municipal Tax Bureau company in Philadelphia.
Butler is a native of Philadelphia, Pa. She received a bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in public management and policy from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, with a concentration in economic development and financial management.
In addition to Butler, GBPI also welcomed Wesley Tharpe to its team of policy analysts.
A native of Fayetteville, Ga., Tharpe has a diverse background in public policy, advocacy and nonprofit programming. After studying political science and international affairs at the University of Georgia, Wesley earned a Masters of Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where his areas of study included poverty alleviation, housing policy and community development. Most recently, Tharpe has worked as the Programs Director for the King Center where he spearheaded tasks ranging from issue research to program development to speechwriting. At GBPI Wesley will focus on tax and budget policy as well as economic development, with emphasis on identifying equitable, sustainable strategies for building a 21st century Georgia.
“We are pleased to have Taifa and Wesley join the GBPI family. They both bring a unique perspective and wealth of knowledge to the team. We look forward to leveraging their expertise to help further our discussions of public policy in the state of Georgia,” stated Alan Essig, GBPI executive director.
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About the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute
The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) seeks to build a more prosperous Georgia. We rigorously analyze budget and tax policies and provide education to inspire informed debate and responsible decision-making, advancing our vision of a state in which economic opportunity and well-being are widely shared among all. GBPI is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2004. Visit www.GBPI.org for more information.