Mr. David L. Benson

Houston, Texas

Director of Programs and Special Projects, Office of the Commissioner of Harris County Precinct One in Houston (Retired)

Vice Chair, IDRA Board of Directors

For 26 years, David L. Benson served as the director of programs and special projects in the Office of the Commissioner of Harris County Precinct One in Houston. Since his retirement from that post in March 2016, he continues his more than 40 years of public service by participating on boards and advisory boards that address a wide range of educational, social, health and environmental issues including the Rothko Chapel, the Hermann Park Conservancy, the Ryan White Council, the Baylor College of Medicine Teen Clinic, Houston Preparatory Academy, Wonderworks at the University of Houston, and Target Hunger – all in Houston.

Mr. Benson received his B.A. degree from the University of Houston where he was awarded the Joseph S. Werlin Fellowship for Academic Achievement. Also, he was a Doctoral Fellow in Comparative Sociology in the Departments of Sociology and Psychiatry at Michigan State University and achieved advanced study in sociology at the New School for Social Research.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he served as a social worker for the State of Texas in the areas of civil rights and protective services for the elderly and disabled. In 1989, he was chosen as Mental Health Professional Leader of the Year by the Houston-based Coalition for Mental Illness Awareness, and the Houston Mayor declared October 7, 1992, as David L. Benson Day. From 1993 until 2000, he served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities in Austin. In 2015, he was honored for his contribution to education in Mexico by the Justo Sierra Institute for Superior Studies.

Mr. Benson has delivered presentations and papers in Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Cuba, Canada, Mexico and the United States on the global need for and development of quality educational opportunities for all children.

He is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran.