Cheryl Benton was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs in May 2009. Before joining the Department of State, Benton accrued more than twenty years of political and public affairs experience and expertise. Cheryl brings her extensive background and knowledge of managing complex public policy, advocacy and regulatory issues for Fortune 500 companies, associations and organizations, developing and implementing grassroots and grasstops strategies and campaigns. She has achieved victories for several political candidates at the local, state and national levels.
The Bureau of Public Affairs carries out the Secretary's mandate to help Americans and our foreign audiences understand the foreign policy priorities of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. In her capacity as Deputy Assistant Secretary, she leads the Department's outreach and strategic planning effort, including utilizing the State Department’s assets in outreach to national and international media outlets.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Benton was a principal at the Dewey Square Group in Washington, D.C. where she employed her considerable talents for clients by leading projects, devising and implementing successful strategies, managing field operatives, and engaging stakeholders and influencers in some of the most important and challenging issues of our times – including nuclear energy and HIV/AIDS.
In 2008, Benton worked with the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign co-chairing Women of Color for Clinton, providing strategic counsel to the campaign and serving as a surrogate in several states including, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arkansas, Georgia and the District of Columbia.
Benton holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Houston.