John Anthony Butler

Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

John Anthony (Tony) Butler is Chief Operating Officer for the Brennan Center. He is responsible for all of the organization’s administrative, financial and operational activities, and oversees its strategic planning process.

From 2003 until joining the Brennan Center in 2011, Tony served as Chief Financial Officer for Legal Services NYC (LS-NYC), the largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income people in the United States.  LS-NYC is a 501c(3) not-for-profit funded substantially by government and private grants and contracts and employs over 350 persons across 14 offices in the five boroughs of New York City.  LS-NYC has over $50 million in annual revenues and $16 million in total assets.  Mr. Butler oversaw all of LS-NYC financial planning and administration.  

Tony has over 25 years of business and financial management experience in government, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.  In 1998, Tony founded a management consultant business serving for-profit and not-for profit clientele in the areas of operational assessment and strategic planning.  From 1994-98, he served as Vice President for Finance and Administration at the National Urban League. In the early 1990s, New York City Mayor David Dinkins appointed him to serve as Deputy City Personnel Director for Administration and Budget, after his service as Deputy Director of the NYC Redistricting Commission.

Tony began his career in management information systems at the investment bank of Morgan Stanley & Company; and immediately after business school spent a year in Caracas, Venezuela as Business Representative for the Caribbean for Reuters, Inc.

He served as treasurer on the Board of Directors for Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, a 501c(3) federally funded community health center in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York; and as treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Algebra Project, Inc., a national private not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts founded by renowned civil rights veteran Robert P. “Bob” Moses and dedicated to the promotion of math literacy for underserved populations in urban and rural settings.

From 1997 until 2000, Tony was a Fellow in the prestigious Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Program.  Earlier, he received a Thomas K. Bradshaw Fellowship in the Humanities for Young Professionals at Claremont Graduate School.

He earned an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.