Valerie Benka, MS, MPP
Valerie Benka's responsibilities include organizational communications and outreach, organizing ACC&D’s International Symposia, and participating in organizational planning, programmatic activities and fundraising.
Ms. Benka brings a background in nonprofit management and animal welfare work to ACC&D. She worked as a grant writer for a non-profit working to increase college enrollment among low-income youth.
She coordinated a feline adoption program in Virginia and interned at both the International Fund for Animal Welfare and The Humane Society of the United States. As a graduate student in the Animals and Public Policy Program at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Ms. Benka explored strategies to expand humane canine population control in Kathmandu, Nepal. Closer to home, she conducted research on reduced-cost feline spay/neuter, including the factors that motivate people to have their pets sterilized and both the life histories and long-term outcomes of feline clients. Ms. Benka also has graduate degrees in Conservation Biology and Public Policy from the University of Michigan, where she focused on human-wildlife conflict in rural Kenya.
She has published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery, EcoHealth, and Humans and Animals: A Geography of Co-existence.
Ms. Benka currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with two cats and a dog.