President and Chief Executive Officer, Mile High United Way
Keynote speaker for CMC’s Roaring Fork Valley ceremony (including Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Spring Valley campuses)
Christine Benero is president and chief executive officer of Mile High United Way, the first United Way in the country. For over 130 years, Mile High United Way has taken on critical human services issues through coordinated and direct service programming to advance the common good. Last year, Mile High United Way proudly invested over $30 million in the Denver metro area to strengthen under-resourced neighborhoods and build more resilient communities, so that all children, individuals and families have the opportunity to thrive. Benero is the first female CEO of Mile High United Way since its founder over a century ago.
Benero is the former chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, in Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, she was the director of the Office of Public Liaison for the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C. She served in two presidential administrations working for both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Benero has served as vice president of the National Civic League, and as a community affairs corporate program officer for Target Stores in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Benero serves on the boards of HealthONE, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Denver Public Schools Foundation and Executives Partnering to Invest in Children. In 2017, she was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to the Denver Education Compact Board. She was named the 9News Leader of the Year in 2007 and in 2009 was named by both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post as one of “Nine to Watch in 2009.”
In 2010 she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Colorado and in 2011 received the “Las Madrinas” award from Centro San Juan Diego. In 2012, Benero was honored nationally by Girl Scouts of America as one of “One Hundred Distinguished Alumni” in honor of Girl Scouts 100th birthday. In 2013, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and presented with the Urban League’s “McKinley Harris Distinguished Warrior” award. In 2016 Benero was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business and in 2017 received the Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal for Public and Community Service by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The Colorado Governors’ Citizenship Medal is one of the highest honors bestowed upon citizens and organizations of Colorado for their meritorious contributions to the strength and vitality of the state. In 2019 she was named one of Colorado’s Most Admired CEOs by the Denver Business Journal. Most recently, she was honored with the ATHENA award by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce for “Inspiring the next generation of women.”
Benero is a past president of the Association of Junior Leagues International, a past chairman of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Coalition for America’s Children and the Kiwanis International’s Young Children: Priority One Advisory Board. She was a delegate both to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in 1997 and to the NGO Forum at the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in special education from Boston University, a master’s in education from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, and was selected as a 2007 Gates Fellow for the Senior Executive Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.