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IMPACT plenary session
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Russell Benford

Vice President Government Relations, Americas, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.

Russell Benford currently serves as Vice President of Government Relations, Americas for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Russell is responsible for RCL’s government relations throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Russell’s professional experience includes more than 20 years in government, with extensive knowledge and experience in public administration, public safety, capital planning, organizational development, and growth management. Most recently, he was a Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County. During his six-year tenure, he had direct oversight of Police, Fire Rescue, Corrections and Rehabilitation, Medical Examiner, Public Housing and Community Development, Community Action and Human Services and Juvenile Services.

Prior to his role at Miami-Dade County, Russell held several leadership roles within Florida, including City Manager of the City of North Miami and City Administrator of the City of West Park. Mr. Benford also served as Village Manager of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois.

Russell is actively involved in community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Jessie Trice Community Health System, Suited for Success/Dress for Success Miami, and the Voices for Children Foundation. He is also a member of the 100 Black Men of South Florida and the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College, and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, where he concentrated in Public Administration and Management and was named a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy and International Studies Fellow.

Russell Benford, a speaker at Impact 2020 in Victoria, BC