President and Chief Executive Officer
Center for Community Progress
Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler is President and Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), America’s nonprofit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”
A 25-year national thought leader, conference speaker, and nonprofit executive, Dr. Watkins-Butler’s work began at the age of 14 when she led efforts to convert a vacant lot and abandoned home into a community center in Roosevelt, New York.
Since then, she’s served as an executive leader for nonprofits and community development initiatives which includes work with the Obama administration, NeighborWorks America, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for the Study for Social Policy.
Her career’s work has focused on helping people, communities, and local and federal government drive impactful reform for key issues including land banking, property vacancy, childhood obesity, community health, and economic development.