Dirk Butler's profile photo

Dirk Butler

President and COO, Center for Policing Equity

Dirk Butler's profile photo
Location: Bowie, MD
Start Year: 2023
TRHT Pillar: Law


Dirk has more than 20 years of strategic management and leadership experience within the public and private sectors, building successful and sustainable programs and policies for children, families and communities. Currently, he is president and chief operating officer of the Center for Policing Equity, which works with community and law enforcement agencies throughout the country to reimagine public safety, well-being and health. Previously, he was at the United Way of the National Capital Area, where, as vice president of community engagement and impact, he developed the organization’s overarching strategic vision and oversaw the management of programming, which focused on promoting education and public health strategies.

Prior to that, Dirk held a senior role at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and served as a senior policy director in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. Earlier in his career, he founded The Opportunity Institute, a Chicago-based research and consulting firm that served as a conduit between academic research institutions and vulnerable communities.

Dirk is completing a Ph.D. in social service administration and research from the University of Chicago. He received a Master of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University in Georgia, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College, CUNY, in New York.



Future Focus

Dirk is currently working in partnership with various actors throughout the country, including community organizations, policymakers and law enforcement agencies to redesign public safety systems and promote optimal public health and public safety outcomes for Black and Brown communities. He hopes to deepen his understanding of racial equity and transformational frameworks to help strengthen his work.



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