The Healing Trust, Senior Program Officer

Meredith Benton has built a reputation on making non-profit & government agencies more effective at furthering their missions. Her career highlights include advising non-profits in 20+ states, running a state agency with 400+ employees & volunteers, & organizing a public health campaign that reduced mortality by 39 percent. She’s worked on both sides of the political aisle in public service alongside two Governors, one U.S. Senator and a former U.S. President.

Currently, she leads a team that grants millions of dollars a year to Middle Tennessee nonprofits, focusing her portfolio on advocacy that expands health service access and the prevention and mitigation of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). She also leads the foundation’s advocacy efforts, using their reputational capital to influence public policy at the federal, state and local level.

While advocating for others to engage in their communities, she is an active community volunteer. Her volunteer leadership experience includes board & committee service on more than ten nonprofit organizations in California & Tennessee. She conducts workshops & consulting on board development & advocacy at the Center for Nonprofit Management. She also serves as the founding co-chair of the Middle Tennessee Donors Forum, a learning community for Middle Tennessee foundations.

The Nashville Business Journal named her a 2014 Top 40 Under 40 and Pepperdine included her in their inaugural list of Top 40 Alumni Under 40 in 2016. She also received the inaugural Nashville Emerging Leader Award in government & the inaugural Waves of Service Award. She is current member of the Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellows Class.

She earned a MPA in International Management from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies, where she completed field research in Sierra Leone.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Pepperdine University with a B.A. in International Studies & Intercultural Communication, where she was named the most outstanding student in her major.

Meredith is an avid traveler, having stepped foot on every continent before her 30th birthday, & a hiker, completing treks in Peru, New Zealand, Spain, & the U.S. She is honored to be called mom by her seven-year-old daughter, Adalyn.