Benson has volunteered for the University of Colorado in several capacities, including co-chairing (with her husband, Bruce, now CU president) two fundraising campaigns of $1 billion or more (including the $1.5 billion Creating Futures campaign, which exceeded its goal in November 2013). She continues to work with her husband and the university on a variety of fundraising initiatives.
She was a member of the CU Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 1997-2003. Benson is chair of the Board of Directors of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus. She is also a member of the advisory panel of the University of Colorado Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Clinical Center at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. She serves on the Development Committee for the University of Colorado Denver, in addition to the Development Committee for the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.
In Washington, D. C., she worked in a variety of capacities for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. From 1987-92, she directed the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, a leadership program in which outstanding young people from the private sector, state government and the military are chosen to spend a year working as an assistant to a senior White House staff member or a member of the Cabinet.
Among several other White House positions, she served as executive assistant to the Assistant to the President for Political and Governmental affairs, was White House liaison for presidential scheduling for the Reagan-Bush 1984 campaign, and worked in The White House Offices of Political Affairs and Presidential Advance.
Before her work at The White House, Benson spent seven years in a variety of capacities at the Federal Judicial Center.
Since coming to Colorado in the early 1990s, she has been an active community volunteer. Benson served on the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital Colorado for more than a decade and was co-chair of the campaign that built the new hospital on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She also served as chair of The Children’s Hospital Foundation for three years and has been a member of that board since 1998. Benson has been engaged with a number of civic and cultural organizations, including service as a board member of the University of Northern Colorado, the Denver Public Library Commission and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
Benson, a native of Oklahoma, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California-Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in criminal justice from George Washington University.