Photo: Aaron Doggett for Visyoual Media
Recording Academy Appoints Ryan Butler As Vice President Of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Recording Academy announced today the appointment of Ryan Butler as Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, effective immediately. Reporting to Co-President Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Butler leads diversity, equity and inclusion internally and externally for the Recording Academy and its affiliates. He is responsible for enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion efforts and ensuring the Academy's core value of diversity, equity and inclusion remains embedded throughout all aspects of the organization, including internal staff culture, Membership, Awards, Advocacy, and related programs. He also sets national and Chapter goals to accelerate outcomes for underrepresented communities and creators.
"We are so proud to have Ryan as our Vice President of DEI," said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. "His passion and leadership have been instrumental to the huge strides in diversity, equity and inclusion we’ve accomplished over the past two years and we're excited to see how he'll continue to enhance our commitment to the music community."
Butler joined the Academy in 2019 as a key member of the Advocacy and Public Policy team and later served as Director then Senior Advisor of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion department. Within DEI, he's led various efforts including the launch of the Academy's first-ever Black Music Collective and the podcast of the same name, the Women In The Mix® Study alongside Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University, and the implementation of an Inclusion Rider for the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. Butler also was instrumental in launching a series of partnerships including Color Of Change and GLAAD. During his tenure as Senior Advisor, Butler simultaneously served as the Founding Executive Director of the Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University.
Prior to his role at Howard, he held various positions at Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communication at Hampton University, beginning as an adjunct professor and becoming the Assistant Dean for Administration. He also held past roles at 3EE Consulting, Atlantic Records, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP, and District of Columbia Superior Courts in Washington, D.C.
Butler serves on Warner Music Group's Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board and the ADCOLOR for Music Advisory Board. In 2020, he was a founding member and Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee on the Recording Academy's Staff Council. He also has received multiple Outstanding Professor Awards, an Academic Excellence Award and a President's Ambassador of Excellence Award from Hampton University.
Butler holds a bachelor's degree in strategic, legal & management communication from Howard University and a master's degree in music business, with a concentration in entertainment, media & technology from New York University.