John Benison, Director, Office of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity (ODEEO)
John Benison was appointed as the Director of the Office of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity (ODEEO) on February 10, 2013. In this capacity, Mr. Benison advises, represents and assists the HUD Secretary and Deputy Secretary on Equal Employment Opportunity and diversity matters. Mr. Benison is implementing his vision for a proactive EEO program at the Department. His leadership accomplishments include establishing the first ever EEO/diversity initiative in the HUD strategic plan, reducing formal EEO complaints by 10 percent, reducing the processing time on the issuance of Final Agency Decisions by 40 percent, training the entire HUD workforce on their EEO rights and responsibilities, and implementing a new shared services contract with the U.S. Postal Service for the purpose of conducting HUD's EEO investigations. In recognition of Mr. Benison's outstanding leadership at HUD, he was appointed to a newly formed White House Advisory Group on Senior Executive Service Reform.
Mr. Benison has been a Federal Equal Employment Opportunity leader since 1999. Prior to joining HUD, Mr. Benison served as the Associate Director of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR). In this capacity, he oversaw the Department's work on civil rights policy and education initiatives. Mr. Benison also advised and represented the DOCR Director and Deputy Director on all management, personnel and operational matters. Over the course of his distinguished career, Mr. Benison served as the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National People with Disabilities Program Manager, Director of the National Model EEO Program Organization at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Acting Director of the Office of Civil Rights in DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). As a leader in the Federal EEO arena, Mr. Benison substantially increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities at the EPA, DOT and across the Federal government. At DOT, Mr. Benison transformed several underperforming EEO organizations and implemented a Model EEO Program that impacted 60,000 employees world-wide and thousands of applicants for employment.
In his position at DOT and as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Mr. Benison influenced government-wide change by playing a leadership role in the drafting and implementation of three Presidential Executive Orders on EEO, civil rights and diversity. While in his leadership role at OPM, Mr. Benison also briefed members of Poland's government on developing similar civil rights legislation to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In 2002, Mr. Benison received the Suzanne E. Olive National Honor Award from EPA "for excellence in achieving the agency's diversity goals." In 2006, Mr. Benison received a Secretary of Transportation Team Award "for successfully responding to a White House request to establish a mass evacuation plan in time for the 2006 hurricane season." Additionally, Mr. Benison has received numerous special achievement awards for individual acts of excellence and sustained superior performance.
Mr. Benison's accomplishments outside of work include successfully completing 9 marathons, serving as a member of The George Washington University Board of Trustees and volunteering with several community organizations.