After four years as a member of Demos’ Board of Trustees, Taifa Smith Butler began her tenure as Demos president in July 2021. 

Butler came to Demos after nearly a decade at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, where, from 2015 to 2021, she led and inspired the GBPI team as its president and CEO. She is an established leader known as a problem solver and tireless champion for equity.

Taifa brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Prior to joining the GBPI team as deputy director in 2011, 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. 

Named one of Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders in 2020 and 2021 by Atlanta Magazine, Taifa has served on various local, state and national committees and boards. Butler is a Class of 2017 Rockwood Leadership Institute “Leading from the Inside Out” Fellow, a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2016 and was a New Executive Fund fellow with the Open Society Foundation in 2015. 

A first-generation college graduate, Taifa graduated from Mount Holyoke College and holds a master’s in public management and policy with a concentration in economic development and financial management from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.