Director, Joel Benson
Joel Benson has traveled extensively throughout the world, including living in Latin America, where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica working in forestry extension and environmental education. He served eight years as mayor of Buena Vista, Colorado, taught Spanish and agricultural policy, and consulted with several organizations in holistic management, runs a successful coffee roastery, and Is Special Projects Manager for the town of Buena Vista. All of his various experiences have provided opportunity to test and implement Integrative Policy.
Currently, Benson studies theories and frameworks of public policy as they relate to his experience in local government as well as approaches to governance adopted by Indigenous peoples from around the world. He also studies communal approaches to natural resource management.
Joel served two terms as Mayor of Buena Vista, Colorado, overseeing numerous planning processes and revisions of the municipal code, prioritizing budgetary expenditures to encourage sound fiduciary responsibility, developing new approaches to policy analysis and design, and helping to create a sense of trust and openness with the town and its people.
He worked with the seven indigenous tribes in Costa Rica to ratify a UN-endorsed treaty, Proclama de la Paz. He also consulted with former Kentucky Governor Patton's initiative to rewrite the state's agricultural policy.