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Peter L. Benson

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Conference Speaker Biography

Peter L. Benson
Search Institute

Dr. Peter Benson is president of Search Institute in Minneapolis, a national nonprofit research organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of children and adolescents. As a lecturer, author, researcher and consultant, Dr. Benson's work focuses on strengthening communities, social institutions and public policy on behalf of America's youth. His research and writing have generated new thinking and action in hundreds of cities across the United States on how communities can mobilize and unite to raise healthy, successful and caring children and adolescents.

Dr. Benson is an adjunct professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota and is the author of nine books on children, adolescents and the community forces that shape their lives. His books include Beyond Leaf Raking: Learning to Serve, Serving to Learn; What Kids Need to Succeed; All Kids are Our Kids: What Communities Must Do to Raise Caring and Responsible Children and Adolescents; and The Fragile Foundation: The State of Developmental Assets among American Youth.

He received his B.A. at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois; an M.A. from Yale University; and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in social psychology from the University of Denver. He joined Search Institute in 1978 following academic appointments at Eastern Michigan University and Earlham College, and has been president since 1985. In 1991, he received the William James Award for career contributions to psychology from the American Psychological Association.

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