Kennette Benedict

Kennette  Benedict
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Executive Director
Chicago, IL

Media Experience

ABC News documentary, BBC, KWAL (San Francisco), McLean’s (Canada), Telemundo
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Quick Bio

Kennette Benedict is the Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Before joining the Bulletin in October 2005, she had been the Director of International Peace and Security at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,…

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Full Biography

Kennette Benedict is the Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Before joining the Bulletin in October 2005, she had been the Director of International Peace and Security at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she also served as Senior Advisor to the President. She was responsible for grantmaking on issues of international peace and security; during her 16-year tenure at MacArthur she recommended more than 1000 grants totally over $400 million, including support for efforts to reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction, and a $50 million initiative on science, technology, and security. While serving as Director of the International Peace and Security Area, she established and directed from 1992-2002 the Foundation’s Initiative in the Former Soviet Union and in 2000 established a program of support for higher education in Nigeria. In her position as Senior Advisor, she worked with MacArthur’s President to review and assess the role of private foundations in the United States and abroad.

She is an expert on nuclear weapons policy, and can speak generally about science, technology and security, including aspects of biological weapons, and nuclear energy. She is also knowledgeable about general issues of international peace and security, including peacekeeping, regional conflicts, and U.S. foreign policy.

Benedict has appeared on the 20/20 ABC documentary, “Last Days on Earth,” aired on August 10, 2006, on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Sunday news hour, and on Chicago TV news programs. She has also been a guest on a range of radio talk shows in the U.S. and on the BBC.

Before moving to MacArthur Foundation in 1987, she taught at Rutgers University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching focused on organizational decision making, jury decision making, and on women's leadership and American politics. She has also published articles on global governance and on violent conflict. Prior to her academic career, she served in the Massachusetts State Planning agency on law enforcement and criminal justice.

Dr. Benedict is a member of the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College and the Compton Foundation and serves on the Advisory Council of the Stanley Foundation. She co-chaired the Peace and Security Funders Group from 2003-2005. She has served in a number of consulting and advisory capacities, including as advisor to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the University of Minnesota, and the Center on Effective Philanthropy. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. She received her A.B. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.

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