The Recording Academy is making boss moves!

In an all-new power move, the Recording Academy has named Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos A. Panay as co-presidents.

The announcement was made Tuesday (June 22) by CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. and will become effective on Aug. 16, 2021.

“This new structure is recognition that further progress and building of the organization requires exceptional leaders with different strengths and areas of focus in order to drive innovation and accountability,” read the announcement. “With the aim of better serving Recording Academy members and the music industry at large, the team will work directly under Mason, whose title will shift to CEO.”


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Butterfield Jones was named the first-ever chief diversity & inclusion officer of the Recording Academy just last year. Now, as the co-president, she will oversee the Recording Academy’s people and culture, membership, and awards, and related initiatives.

She will also continue to incorporate the best standards of belonging, inclusion, and representation throughout the Recording Academy.

“The successful evolution of the Recording Academy is dependent on strong and innovative leaders, and I’m thrilled to elevate Valeisha and welcome Panos as Co-Presidents to help drive the Recording Academy’s continued transformation,” said Mason Jr. “Both Valeisha and Panos are incredible leaders who have a proven record of progress, and together with the rest of the team, will continue to push the envelope at the Recording Academy and shape the organization to better serve, protect, and celebrate the music community.”

Prior to this role, Butterfield Jones has served as the global head of inclusion for Google. 

Under her leadership, she introduced key programs which included Code Next, Decoding Race, the Digital Coaches program, State of Black Women at Google, and TechExchange.

Her two-decades-long career began at HBO Sports and Butterfield Jones has served as the national executive director and senior vice president of Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications/the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and as the national director of diversity and inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association.

She has also served as the national youth vote director for the Obama for America campaign, and in the Obama Administration as the deputy director of public affairs for international trade.