K. Jehan Benton-Clark
Priority Areas I Lead:
Advocacy | Community Solutions | Capacity Building | Locally-focused Work
Jehan’s career focuses on the intersection of opportunity with race, place, wealth and health. Grounded by the belief that the people closest to the problem best know how to solve it, Jehan pushes the Foundation to listen to community voices to guide strategy development. Her work reflects this fundamental conviction – that we must transform philanthropic practices to center community engagement and equity.
Jehan joined the Foundation in 2016 to serve as portfolio director and leads the Foundation’s Advocacy, Capacity Building and Community Solutions investments. She helped revolutionize the program officer role in the philanthropy department to emphasize authentic relationships over traditional, transactional grantmaking. In addition to strengthening the Foundation’s work in rural communities, Jehan leads locally-focused work, a place-based philanthropic strategy aimed at bringing health in reach for all Coloradans.
In November 2020, Jehan was appointed as the senior director of advancing equity and justice. In this additional role, Jehan consults with the Foundation’s executive leadership and board of directors on organization-wide strategies designed to advance health equity, racial justice and systems change alongside communities and leaders in Colorado. She works within and across the Foundation’s departments to align and deepen the ways in which the organization thinks about and lives into principles of equity, and ensures this is embedded into our processes and policies.
Jehan’s combined roles require the development of genuine connections with Coloradans and intentionality around listening and learning from community members to center their needs, ideas and solutions. She is also charged with leading the transformation and expansion of the ways in which the Foundation advances health equity, including centering racial justice in the mission and how the organization thinks about key concepts, like risk and impact.
Before joining the Foundation in 2016, Jehan worked at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, overseeing a long-term, rural place-based philanthropic approach to improve the health of residents living on low income, as well as the development and implementation of a comprehensive, statewide mental health and substance abuse strategy. Jehan previously served as Executive Director of Partners Ending Homelessness, an intermediary responsible for overseeing a public/private partnership to address housing, homelessness and behavioral health, and led health and early childhood education investments at the United Way of Greater Greensboro.
Jehan serves on the board of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and is a mayoral appointee to the Denver Library Commission and a gubernatorial appointee to Colorado’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission. Jehan lives in Denver with her husband, Damian, and their daughter, Sloane Harper. She and her family, including their dog, Dakota, love to explore Colorado through hiking, paddle boarding and mountain biking. In her free time, Jehan relaxes by reading David Sedaris books, watching the History Channel and cooking.
BA Economics & Political Science — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Master of Social Service Administration — University of Chicago
Bank One Leadership in Community Schools Fellow