Kimberlin Butler, who has two decades of experience partnering with organizations to drive social change, has joined Mathematica as its first director of foundation engagement. Butler understands the unique needs and opportunities of mission-driven organizations and the solutions to address them. Her experience positions her well to join Mathematica as it improves public well-being by illuminating the path to progress for public- and private-sector changemakers.
Butler joins a team focused on foundation engagement, including Leslie Foster for health foundations and Kimberly Smith for foundations focused on international health and development. Butler will focus on foundation efforts in education and other human services.
“We are delighted to welcome Kimberlin to the Mathematica family,” said President and CEO Paul Decker. “She is mission focused and data driven, and we look forward to contributing to a culture of learning among philanthropic organizations under her leadership.”
Butler’s experience addressing urgent social challenges and working alongside partners to translate big questions into deep insights includes her tenure at Grantmakers for Education, for which she worked with foundations across the country to improve outcomes in student achievement. She also served the U.S. secretary of education and advised the Office of Innovation and Improvement and the Office of Strategic Partnerships on philanthropic alignment. As part of the White House Community Solutions agenda, she helped develop the Place-Based Initiatives Pilot team. She also launched the Atlanta office of Beyond 12, an organization that increases the number of low-income, first-generation, and historically underserved students who graduate from college, establishing partnerships with Achieve Atlanta and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
A thought partner to the organization’s executive director, Butler served as director of strategic partnerships for StriveTogether, a national network supporting the success of 8.2 million students. At StriveTogether, Butler built strategic alliances with national partners and investors to advance six core outcomes, from kindergarten readiness to college degree completion, including a partnership with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative. She managed the complex pooled Accelerator Fund, which invested $15 million in communities that demonstrated accelerated progress.
Eager to help improve the state of public education, Butler served as a middle school educator in Teach For America early in her career. Building on this firsthand experience, she proposed a college prep charter middle school that combined academic and leadership development. As the founding executive director, she garnered start-up support, leveraged a diverse governing board, and established a nonprofit organization to advance the mission.
A native of Baton Rouge, Butler received a B.A. in mass communication from Louisiana State University and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University with a concentration in social and educational policy.
Butler is an avid volunteer, having served on the boards of Education Pioneers, Urban League of Portland, National Urban League (NULYP), Jelani Girls (Board President), and the MRG Foundation as a trustee. She is an active member of the Junior League of Washington, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Rotary Club International, and the Links, Incorporated. Butler was named an Outstanding Atlantan, a Knowledge Universe Rising Star, and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 List. She is a graduate of LEAD Atlanta, Leadership Portland, and the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) Connecting Leaders Fellowship.