Karla Benson Rutten (she/her)

Executive Director, Jeremiah Program

Karla Benson Rutten is the Executive Director of Jeremiah Program (JP) in St. Paul, MN. An unapologetic champion for JP’s mission of disrupting the cycle of poverty for single moms and their kids two generations at a time, Karla leads a team that provides JP moms with support for completing a college degree, family coaching, leadership training, early childhood education, and affordable housing. Karla has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, higher education, and DEI organizational change. Prior to joining JP, Karla was the Vice President of Community Engagement at Girl Scouts River Valleys, where she created new and innovative pathways to Girl Scouting for girls of color. She also worked at Macalester College for 15 years as the director of the Lealtad-Suzuki Center and as the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Equity. An entrepreneur, Karla is the founder of Benson Rutten Innovations (BRI), a coaching, consulting, and training firm focused on DEI strategic leadership development. She holds a Master's in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor's in Psychology from Iowa State University.

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