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Kari Benson

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging
Administration for Community Living (ACL) Administration on Aging (AoA)
As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kari Benson leads the Administration on Aging in advocating on behalf of older Americans. In this capacity, she guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies, and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life.

This includes the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness. 

Kari's entire career has been in the aging network, most recently serving as the director of the Aging and Adult Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services and as the executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging. Through these dual roles, she oversaw the full range of federal- and state-funded HCBS for older adults, their families, and the friends, neighbors, and others who provide informal caregiving support. Prioritizing collaboration with the 11 tribal nations that share geography with Minnesota, as well as organizations reaching rural and underserved communities, was a hallmark of her leadership at the state level. She also partnered with the state's Disability Services Division to coordinate quality assurance and improvement strategies for the Medicaid waiver programs, strengthen maltreatment and critical incident remediation efforts for older adults and people with disabilities, and launch the state's universal LTSS assessment tool. 

Kari holds a bachelor's degree in human ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in public policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.

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