Esther  T. Benjamin​

CEO and Executive Director, World Education Services


Esther Benjamin has been a global executive in the public, private, and civil society sectors for over 25 years. She has led programs and partnerships in over 100 countries.


Esther is CEO and Executive Director of World Education Services Inc., a social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and workplace goals in the U.S. and Canada.


Previously, Esther worked with Laureate Education Inc., as CEO for Africa Operations and CEO of Monash South Africa. She was then Laureate’s SVP for Global Public Affairs.


Esther served in President Obama’s administration as Associate Director for Global Operations for the Peace Corps and oversaw programs in nearly 80 countries. Following the 2008 elections, she served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.


Esther also worked at the International Youth Foundation, where she developed global programs and partnerships in 75 countries. She was Executive Director for Resource Development at the International Partnership for Microbicides, a global biotechnology organization developing products for women in the Global South to protect themselves from HIV.


In 1999, President Clinton appointed Esther a White House Fellow and she worked with the Secretary of Labor on international policies and programs.


In 1994, Esther was appointed United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer, responsible for coordinating humanitarian aid in Somalia.


Esther serves on the Board of Directors of Echoing Green; Seed Global Health; the Foundation for Society, Law & Art in South Africa; and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.


She earned master’s degrees in International Affairs and Applied Economics from American University. She is a Trustee of North Central College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English.


New York Times best-selling author Wes Moore profiled Esther as “The Globalist” in his book  The Work: Searching for a Life that Matters.