Akilah Watkins-Butler

Akilah Watkins-Butler serves as Director of National Partnerships for Neighborworks of America based in Washington DC.  Prior to Neighborworks of America Dr. Butler was the deputy director of Leadership for Healthy Communities, where she provided project management and general oversight to the daily operations of the team. Her policy expertise spans a range of related arenas, including economic development, health, and family formation and she is trained in the practices of policy analysis, evaluation, research and program management.

Akilah joined the Leadership for Healthy Communities team after serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Twinlineal Institute, a research institute dedicated to researching and solving issues related to marginalized communities. In this position, Akilah wrote, published and distributed the book, The Love Ethic, which focused on family and personal relationships as a tool for self-discovery. The book was voted as one of the top books of 2009 by blackboxoffice.com and profiled at the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus annual conference in Washington, DC in 2009.

Prior to the Twinlineal Institute, Akilah served as Program Officer at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and lead their Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Opportunities Initiative, a three-year initiative created to ensure the success of youth transitioning out of foster care.  While there, she created a state-wide policy, which included Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for all transitioning youth. In 2004, she directed the Community Foundation’s $3 million dollar community development fund, which provided grants, technical assistance, local and national resources to low-income neighborhood residents. Under her tenure, she developed a scholarship fund for neighborhood leaders to further develop their skills by partnering with educational institutions such as Emory University and the University of Georgia. Furthermore, Akilah directed a 12-month community health research project in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and the Atlanta Falcon Youth Foundation to combat the epidemic of youth obesity in 10 low-income metropolitan Atlanta neighborhoods.

Akilah has earned her undergraduate degree at Empire State College in community and human services.  Also, she is an alumnus of Southern New Hampshire University earning two Masters degrees: community economic development and business education.  Presently, Akilah is a national Ford Foundation fellow completing her PhD in sociology at the University of Illinois.

Akilah Watkins-Butler Deputy Director of Leadership for Healthy Communities

Akilah Watkins-Butler

Deputy Director of Leadership for Healthy Communities

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Civic Engagement
Facilitation & Strategic Planning
Career Stage
  • Fellow
  • Next Gen
  • Mid-Career
  • Bridge
  • Encore
  • Emeritus