In January, I shared that Demos’ then-president K. Sabeel Rahman was transitioning into a senior role in the Biden administration. I’m now delighted to announce we have chosen a visionary new leader. Taifa Smith Butler will become the next president of Demos on July 1, 2021.
A policy expert and racial equity champion, Taifa is currently the president and CEO of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. She has spent 20 years advocating for economic justice and brings deep experience in how to succeed despite a hostile policy climate, how to think big and win big, and how to celebrate the incremental victories that sustain a movement. For the past four years, she has also brought her policy expertise, vision for America, and passion for serving others to Demos’ Board of Trustees.
Now, Taifa plans to lead Demos with the belief that only people-centered policies can yield systemic change. For Taifa, the daughter of working-class parents who was the first in her family to earn a college degree, policy is personal. As she put it, “Research papers alone don’t change policy. People do. And it is important to me to lead from the intersection of the think space and the heart space. The work is about centering people as we inform political will and galvanize public will to make lasting change in this country. Putting people first is how we dismantle the barriers that have held Black and brown Americans back for far too long.
“I am elated to take on the role of president of Demos,” said Taifa. “I have been a big fan for years—Demos has been at the forefront of racially equitable policy solutions that I have connected with as a state leader in Georgia.” Under Taifa’s vision and leadership, Demos will be guided by the idea that our work for a just, inclusive, multiracial America must be led by Black and brown people, and must be built together within the movement, in partnership.
Taifa is the perfect leader for the organization at this moment. Please join me in welcoming Taifa Smith Butler as the next president of Demos.