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Profiles of African Americans at EPA: Kent Benjamin

Profiles of African Americans at EPA

Kent Benjamin Kent Benjamin, Acting Director
OLEM Office of Communications, Partnerships and Analysis
Office of Land and Emergency Management
Washington, DC

Where were you born?

Boston, Mass.

What brought you to EPA?

I was inspired to public service by my mother’s efforts at the Women’s Bureau in the Department of Labor. EPA provided an opportunity to have a positive impact of people lives, and to serve the communities who could not fend for themselves.

What type of work do you do at EPA?

I lead an office of high performance professionals whose efforts focus on verifying and communication the benefits and significance of OLEM’s mission and promote interaction with external stakeholders to ensure the inclusion of their perspectives and consideration of their needs in OLEMs work and products.

What is your highest level of education? What was your major?

I have a Master of Science degree in public management and policy from Carnegie Mellon University with concentrations in policy analysis, and urban planning and economic development.

What message would you like to send other Black/African Americans who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?

My main message is to include environmental and scientific course work in whatever academic area you are pursuing. Additionally, I would encourage them to have an evolving career development plan that includes a range of mentors and coaches. I also recommend that they conduct informational interviews with practitioners to gain insights and to sharpen their career focus.

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