Jocelyn Benson is the Dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan, where she was appointed in December 2012 at the age of 35, becoming the youngest woman to lead a top 100 law school in United States history. Jocelyn is a co-founder of the Military Spouses of Michigan and a board member of the Southern Poverty Law Center. She was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Michigan Secretary of State in the November 2010 election and is the author of “State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process.”
Benson graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College, where she founded the now-annual Women in American Political Activism conference and was the first student to be elected to serve in the governing body for the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts. She subsequently earned her Master’s in Sociology as a Marshall Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, in the United Kingdom, conducting research into the sociological implications of white supremacy and neo-Nazism. Prior to attending law school, Benson also lived in Montgomery, Alabama, where she worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center as an investigative journalist, researching white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. Benson has also worked as a summer associate for voting rights and election law for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and as a legal assistant to Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio.
Benson received her J.D. from Harvard University Law School, where she was a general editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.