Hoya Highlight: Mannone Butler (B’94, L’99), Executive Director, DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

CAREER REFLECTIONS

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Do what you are passionate about, do it well, and do it without abandon. Everything else will work itself out.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your career?

After law school, I worked with a non-profit that provided a range of supports and services to vulnerable communities. During that time, one of my “sites” was a prison. I had the opportunity to work with incarcerated fathers and help them develop the skills and tools to parent. I witnessed bonds develop and, in some instances, deepen between fathers and children. This experience shaped me in many ways.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done professionally?

Getting my sea legs in telecom. When I worked at The Law Offices of Curtis T. White, P.C., founded by fellow Hoya Curtis White (L’71), we were a small staff and really had to roll up our sleeves and dive deep into the work. I was new to practicing law and had to tackle interesting yet complex telecom issues. I had to be fearless and confident and comfortable in my own skin. Accessing some of these qualities was challenging but essential. This experience helped me develop a deep reservoir of self-assuredness.

To what do you credit your career success?

I stand on incredible shoulders. I’ve had an amazing support system of family, friends, colleagues, and fellow Georgetown alumni. It is so important to appreciate and acknowledge where you come from, and to honor and nurture the relationships you’ve made along the way. Relationships can fuel and aid you in ways you don’t know until you need them. I know that I am the product of prayers, support, a lot of confidence in who I am and what I can do, and also in the unwavering belief that (as my mother said), “you’re destined to do really good things.” All of this is empowering, and it also instills a strong sense of responsibility.

Describe your workplace. What is on your desk right now?

I work in an office at Judiciary Square in the heart of the D.C. justice system. In my world, no two days are alike! My days are filled with meetings with justice system leaders, stakeholders, and my talented teammates. My evenings include participating in an array of events.

Though I don’t spend a lot of time at it, on my desk are a Jack the Bulldog bobblehead (on his skateboard, of course!), tchotchkes from travel, my Georgetown University Black Alumni Summit S’well water bottle (my hydration go-to), and a booklet of Maya Angelou quotes—my favorite is, “when it is given freely and received gratefully, joy lives in every heart.”

TIME ON THE HILLTOP

Who was your favorite professor or what was your favorite class at Georgetown?

I loved my theology classes with Professor Diana Hayes. These classes paved the way for lots of self-reflection and were instrumental in my ability to develop my own voice.

My clinics were the most important to me during law school: I worked with the Family Advocacy and Street Law clinics. Working with those clinics made me feel truly aligned with my desire to help others develop their voices. This hands-on experience crystalized the “why” in terms of practicing law for me.

What is your favorite Georgetown memory?

I have a number of “favorite” memories. Graduating from law school is a major one, though! It was an important milestone. I took time reflect on my journey and to take a pause to recognize all those who supported me along the way.

Now, as an alumna, I’m lucky to be continuing to add to the list of memories I make with Georgetown. I’m honored to be serving as the chair of the African American Advisory Board and to support current students at the annual Patrick Healy Dinner. I’m enjoying co-chairing the 2019 Black Alumni Summit as well. It’s so rewarding to be able to give back to the university that has given me so much!

How has Georgetown shaped you?

Georgetown helped me to develop and exercise my voice, and I learned how to navigate complex systems. I came to understand how to advocate for what was important to me, and how to do it in a way that could bring together different people and groups to address issues.

Now, every time I visit campus, I’m amazed at the changes I see. Georgetown is constantly evolving and it’s really exciting to witness and be a part of the change.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Who or what is a source of strength and inspiration in your life and why?

My sister. She is an incredibly talented and accomplished professional who has overcome significant health issues. In the face of obstacles, her faith and belief in God were sources of strength and she kept her eyes on the prize. She is one of the most tenacious, unconditionally loving and funniest people that I know.

What is one part of your daily routine that you couldn’t live without?

Daily texts with my mom and sister. Hearing from them every morning is the best way to start my day.

What are your words to live by?

Speak with honesty, think with sincerity, and act with integrity.

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