Joan L. Benso is President and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC). Since 1995, Ms. Benso has been responsible for the organization’s daily administration and effective functioning. She is directly involved in the organization’s interaction with state-level public policymakers, Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, the news media, the children’s advocacy community, funders and service sectors.
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is a strong, effective and trusted voice to improve the health, education, and well-being of the commonwealth’s children.
In Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., PPC voices policy solutions proven to guide Pennsylvania’s children toward lifetime success and away from failure. PPC’s vision is to move Pennsylvania into position as one of the top 10 states in the nation to be a child and to raise a child. PPC uses research and analysis, government relations, strategic communications, and grassroots and grasstops mobilization as core strategies to drive change.
Ms. Benso’s leadership in child advocacy has had a profound impact on the well-being of Pennsylvania’s children. PPC has championed many issues and led a broad array of coalitions during her tenure, including those which had yielded the passage of state universal children’s health insurance law, creation of a state pre-kindergarten program and a more rational funding system for public education. Ms. Benso’s work has led to landmark investments in early childhood education including child care subsidy, quality, Head Start and pre-K, state support for full-day kindergarten, reduced elementary class, high school reform, dual high school/college enrollment, youth development programs and the implementation of tax strategies that allow low-income working families to keep more of their wages to raise their children.
Ms. Benso has served on various state and national boards addressing health care, school readiness, youth development, college and career readiness and other critical children’s issues.