Esther T. Benjamin
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2011
Esther T. Benjamin ’90 is associate director for global operations for the Peace Corps. In this capacity, she oversees programs in nearly 80 countries. Following the 2008 presidential election she participated in the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, focusing on foreign assistance.
Esther previously served as executive director for resource development at the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), a global biotechnology organization focused on the health of women in developing countries. She also worked at the International Youth Foundation as chief financial officer and then as vice president of business development responsible for global programs and partnerships supporting children and youth initiatives.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed her a White House Fellow, one of the nation’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. In this capacity, she worked with Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman on international policies and programs. Esther had previously coordinated humanitarian aid in Somalia as a United Nations humanitarian affairs officer. In the private sector, she has experience in management consulting with Grant Thornton and Arthur Andersen.
Esther is a fellow with the U.S.-Japan Foundation and the U.S.-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values. At age 13, she and her family moved to the United State from Sri Lanka due to civil unrest. She later graduated from North Central with majors in political science and English. Esther holds master’s degrees in international affairs and applied economics from American University, which honored her in 2009 for her accomplishments. Esther has been a Trustee of North Central College since 2006 and a recipient of an Alumna Recognition Award, which honors successful young alumni.
Watch the video below to see how North Central’s extracurricular activities contributed to Esther's success after college.