Erik Butler, EdD, designs and implements education and workforce development programs in emerging economies around the world. Drawing on an extensive background in public service, he has supported effective, strategic development programs in more than 20 countries.

Butler’s programs focus on improving outcomes for at-risk and vulnerable youth, especially in developing and post-conflict countries. His work is distinguished by a capacity-building approach and a deep engagement with the communities that his work serves. He currently leads the AWARE Project, a JPMorgan-funded initiative that seeks to improve education and livelihood opportunities for youth in the Philippines and Indonesia. Drawing on that and other experiences, he is actively exploring the possibilities of corporate social responsibility and impact investing for EDC’s work.

Butler is chairman of the board of trustees at the National Child Labor Committee and a member of the board of directors of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation USA. He was a co-founder and board chair of the National Youth Employment Coalition.

Butler holds an EdD in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.

“Any workforce development program must understand the technical and personal requirements of the local labor market. Workforce development doesn’t work if supply and demand do not match.”

Selected Publications

Butler, E. P., Taggart, N., & Chervin, N. (2012). Education, earning, and engagement for out-of-school youth in 26 developing countries: What has been learned from nine years of EQUIP3? Journal of International Cooperation in Education, 15(2), 129–158.

Butler, E. P., & Ignatowski, C. (2010). Literacy for out-of-school youth: A program guide.

Selected Resources


This guide provides a conceptual framework, instruments, and tools for designing and implementing youth assessments in developing countries.

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