Taifa Butler Named GBPI’s Next Executive Director


Atlanta, Ga. – Jan. 6, 2015 – The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s Board of Directors announced today Deputy Director Taifa Smith Butler will become the organization’s new executive director, effective April 1, 2015.

Butler will lead the nonprofit think tank into its second decade as Georgia’s leading authority on state budget and tax policy. Since joining GBPI as deputy director in 2011, she led a team of analysts and introduced a deeper and more strategic approach to the organization’s policy research efforts.

She will work to maintain and build on the legacy of Alan Essig, the current executive director who founded GBPI in 2004. Essig is relocating to Michigan, where his wife recently accepted a prestigious academic position. He will remain at GBPI during the transition period.

“Taifa has a long track record of success as a nonprofit executive and leader,” said GBPI Board Chairman Eliot Robinson. “She has the management experience, passion and drive to make sure GBPI continues to be the state’s most trusted source of information about state policies ranging from education to health care to economic opportunity.”

Butler brings to her new role nearly two decades of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Prior to joining GBPI, she served as the policy and communications director for Georgia Family Connection Partnership, where she co-managed the Georgia KIDS COUNT project and monitored public policy and its impact on children, families and communities. Butler previously worked at the Georgia Academy for Children and Youth Professionals and Philadelphia’s MBIA Muni Services/Municipal Tax Bureau Inc. She was an education policy fellow with the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s Class of 2009 Education Policy Fellowship Program. Butler is also a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and holds a master’s in public management and policy from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.


John McCosh
GBPI Communications Director
Phone: 404-420-1324, ext. 109
Email: jmccosh@gbpi.org

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