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Kelly Bencola

Director of Leadership Development & Community Engagement

Director of Leadership Development & Community Engagement

Kelly has been with the Leadership Development & Community Engagement team at Northwestern University since 2015. She is passionate about the intersection of education and social justice, and loves working with the team to develop opportunities for students to engage in transformative experiences that lead to lives committed to justice.

Prior to Northwestern, Kelly worked in Seattle University’s Center for Community Engagement and with social justice non-profits on the East Coast as an organizer, advocate, and educator. She holds a BA in English & Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in Student Development Administration from Seattle University.

Kelly lives in Oak Park, where she serves as a Commissioner on Oak Park’s municipal Community Relations Commission to advance racial equity. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Kelly enjoys going on adventures with her partner and kids. Her favorite hobbies are taking part in the Forest Park Casket Races, casual birdwatching, and rabble-rousing with fellow community members.