“It took the theory that I learned about in school, and put teeth to it.”
Bernice Butler is actually an alumna of two urban fellowship programs, the Capital City Fellows program in the District of Columbia from 2008 to 2010, and the SC2 fellowship program from 2012 to 2014. She currently works as a senior associate for policy and advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign in Washington, DC, coordinating efforts to align state and federal policies and empower local leaders with the information they need to support students and families in every community.
During her Capital City fellowship, Butler’s rotations in different government offices led to many accomplishments, including the coordination of the DC Inter-Agency Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, a group of nine (9) government agencies, through the DC Department of Housing and Community Development; as well as management of the review and award process of a $14 million special-needs housing pipeline through the Department of Mental Health. Butler’s fellowship put many new skills at her fingertips, including team leadership, fiscal and budgetary implementation, project management of a procurement re-engineering and reform processes, workflow and performance optimization, communications, and more.
Butler’s fellowship with the City of Memphis placed her with the Office for the City Administrator, where she coordinated and managed data for the mayor’s directive to “advance a culture of excellence in government.” Butler implemented a data-based performance management system for Memphis as a way to improve public sector processes and make services simpler and less costly. The experience was a valuable lesson in practice, whereby she totally reshaped her project goals after meeting with each city department head during her first month as an SC2 Fellow. The result was a three-pronged Performance Management Platform consisting of 195 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a Data Warehouse, and ChoiceStat. She also assisted in training over 50 city staff in the new KPIs, and helped launch and staff the Memphis’ Choice Stat sessions, where the mayor and representatives from the CAO’s office and city department directors carefully examined data on key performance indicators (KPIs) in a public hearing format.