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Patricia Beneke
Patricia J. Beneke is completing her first term of service on the UNA-NCA Board of Directors. She served as the North American Regional Director and Representative for the United Nations Environment Programme for almost three years, stepping down from that position in early 2017. In that capacity, she worked to implement UN Environment’s global program by fostering cooperation on international environmental issues in the region. Previously, Ms. Beneke served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for nearly 20 years, specializing in energy policy, water resources, and environmental matters. In addition, Ms. Beneke was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science in 1995, serving in that capacity until 2000. There, she played a leadership role with respect to several ecosystem restoration efforts and was heavily involved in water resource issues and efforts to provide quality science for natural resource decision-making.  Early in her career, Ms. Beneke served as an attorney at the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Justice and in the private sector. Ms. Beneke currently teaches natural resources law and policy at Georgetown University Law Center on an adjunct basis.  She holds a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A. degree from Iowa State University.

Vision Statement:

As a former North American Regional Director for a United Nations program, Patricia appreciates the important role of the United Nations Association (UNA) in promoting a strong United Nations and building grassroots support across the country for the United Nations and its many vital functions. The UNA-NCA, one of the largest and oldest local chapters of UNA, is at the forefront in furthering these objectives. By serving as a Board member, Patricia hopes to help UNA-NCA continue its important work in enhancing public understanding of the United Nations, in working to ensure continuing strong U.S. support for the United Nations, and in fostering the next generation of leaders who will respond to the world’s global challenges.