Olivia Benson is a civic technology, public policy, political advocacy, and an accomplished public affairs professional with a proven track record of promoting advocacy causes, securing financial support for organizations, and spearheading community engagement for government, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Olivia is a well-known, featured radio and television political analyst who regularly speaks on education, civic engagement, the Rising American Electorate, and social impact policies. She has appeared on the nationally recognized “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, local Pittsburgh PBS station WQED, provided public affairs commentary on KDKA Radio – one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed radio stations, and is a featured political analyst on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel, PCNC. In 2015, she was awarded the “40 Under 40” award by Pittsburgh Magazine and in the past she has won awards from Get Involved, Inc., The New Pittsburgh Courier, and Whirl Magazine, in addition to numerous other honors for her work.
Olivia has worked as Deputy Press Secretary for former US Congressman Jason Altmire, a Press Secretary for former Chief Executive Dan Onorato during his race for governor, a communications specialist in the Allegheny County Executive Office, and a Communications Director for Rich Fitzgerald’s 2011 campaign for Allegheny County Executive. Olivia also previously served as the Director of Youth Policy for the City of Pittsburgh, leading the city’s education, employment, and civic engagement programs for thousands of students and young adults.
Olivia is also active in the local community. She is a member of the Prevention Network and Class Academy Board of Directors, the Junior League of Pittsburgh, and a volunteer speaker and mentor for students and recent graduates of Aliquippa High School. Additionally, Olivia has also served as a member of the City of Pittsburgh’s former LGBTQA Advisory Council, the Holy Family Young Leaders Board, the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ of Greater Pittsburgh Youth Advisory Council, and on the Advisory Council for El Sistema Pittsburgh.
She also recently graduated from the Coro of Greater Pittsburgh Women in Leadership Program, a premier program for women leaders designed to address civic challenges in the region.
Professionally, Olivia can best be described as an entrepreneur, a public affairs advisor, a social impact strategist, and a program manager for a civic technology company. Olivia currently serves as an advisor to a green infrastructure pay-for-success project. She is the founder of Civic Impact Strategies, a boutique public affairs and firm and recently, she helped co-found the She Runs, a project of the Women and Girls Foundation, designed to get more women in southwestern pa engaged in their local communities. Olivia is also a founding member of the Future Communities PAC, a political action committee created to help young people of color become more civically and politically engaged.
Olivia has a BS in Public Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from Point Park University, and an MS in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.