Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 03/13/2012

Benjamin Allen, Class of 1996
President, Board of Education, Santa Monica, California

Ben Allen was a high school senior when he attended the Academy’s 1996 Salute to Excellence in Sun Valley, Idaho as a student honor delegate. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and completed an M.Phil. in Latin American Studies at Cambridge University in the UK.

After Harvard and Cambridge, he worked for the International Affairs’ Latin American/Caribbean team of the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C. and served as Communications Director for Congressman Jose Serrano of New York. While studying law at U.C. Berkeley, Ben was the student member of the University of California’s Board of Regents, and traveled to Africa to serve as also as a judicial clerk with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. After law school, he ran for School Board in his hometown of Santa Monica/Malibu. The top vote getter in the 2008 elections, he now serves as President of the Board; he may be the youngest board president in the history of the district. Ben has worked as a litigator for the firm of Bryan Cave LLP, and led the successful launch of the Spark Program in Los Angeles, a non-profit program that arranges life-changing apprenticeships for at-risk students in over 200 middle schools annually in the Los Angeles area. In addition to his school board service, Ben is teaches educational law and policy at UCLA Law School, and is Of Counsel at the law firm of Richardson and Patel.

Fluent in Spanish, Ben is active with Humanity in Action, the American Council of Young Political Leaders, and the Young Elected Officials Network. He is a board member of the Social Justice Learning Institute, Spark Los Angeles, and the Santa Monica Democratic Club.

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