Today, President Biden announced that Stephen Benjamin will serve as Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement. In this role, Benjamin will oversee the White House Office of Public Engagement, which works at the local, state, and national levels to ensure community leaders, diverse perspectives, and new voices have the opportunity to inform the work of the President in an inclusive, transparent and responsible way.
Statement from President Biden: “Mayor Benjamin is a longtime public servant, who has served the people of South Carolina for over two decades statewide and as a three-term mayor of Columbia. As a former President of both the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the African American Mayors Association, Steve’s deep relationships with communities across the country will serve our Administration and the American public well.
As mayor of Columbia, Steve focused on the economic development of Main Street, job creation and maintaining a just, diverse, and trusted law enforcement department. He understands what Americans across the country expect and deserve from their government.
Under Keisha’s leadership, the Office of Public Engagement has kept equity at the heart of our agenda, and continues to serve as the connective tissue between our Administration and everyday Americans who may not have a voice to reach Washington otherwise. I have leaned on Keisha as a close advisor with exceptional instincts, and I am grateful to her for serving our nation with honor and integrity. I wish her the best as she returns home to Atlanta to be with her family.”
Stephen Benjamin, Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
Steve Benjamin served as Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina from 2010 to 2021. He served as the 76th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2018 to 2019 and as President of the African American Mayors Association from 2015 to 2016. He currently serves as President & CEO of The Benjamin Firm, LLC.
Benjamin has also been Executive Chairman of Municipal Bonds for America, a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, and a member of the Accelerator for America Advisory Council.
Prior to his service as mayor, Benjamin served in South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges’ cabinet as the Chief Executive of the state’s second largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. Benjamin has been a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and Co-Chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy. He was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2017 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official for his leadership during an October 2015 flood.
Benjamin began his public service career in Columbia as student body president of the University of South Carolina and later as Student Bar Association President at the USC School of Law.