An Initiative of the International Youth Foundation

Esther Benjamin

CEO for Africa Operations
Laureate Education, Inc.

Ms. Esther Benjamin is CEO for Africa Operations with Laureate Education, Inc., a global leader in providing access to high quality, innovative institutions of higher education. She is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and is leading the company’s market entry to Africa. She is currently also CEO of Monash South Africa, Laureate’s first partnership in Sub-Saharan Africa. From 2009 through March 2013, Ms. Benjamin served in President Obama’s Administration as Associate Director for Global Operations for the Peace Corps. In this capacity, she oversaw Peace Corps programs in nearly 80 countries. Following the 2008 presidential elections, she served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, focusing on foreign assistance. Ms. Benjamin previously worked at the International Youth Foundation (IYF) as chief financial officer, then as vice president for business development responsible for the development of global programs and partnerships in 75 countries. She was also executive director for resource development at the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), a global biotechnology organization developing products for women in developing countries to protect themselves from HIV. At IPM, she mobilized funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the governments of the United States, Canada and nearly a dozen major European donor countries.