Jocelyn Benson has more than a decade of experience as a national leader in election law and administration. She is the author of Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws, and promoting fair, accessible and secure elections.
Jocelyn has a proven track record of success in leading institutions, cutting costs and improving services. As the former dean of Wayne State University Law School she froze tuition, expanded access to scholarship funds for all students, and bolstered the school’s reputation and bar passage rates. She also established programs to promote government oversight, provide free legal services for veterans, and help aspiring entrepreneurs participate in the economic revival of Detroit.
Jocelyn recognizes the challenges facing veterans and military families. In 2012 while her husband Ryan Friedrichs served in Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, she joined with four other military spouses to establish the Military Spouses of Michigan, a network dedicated to providing support and services to military spouses and their children.
Jocelyn is currently CEO and Executive Director of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a national nonprofit. She serves on several national boards including the advisory board of iCivics, a non-profit founded by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and dedicated to engaging students in meaningful civic learning.
A long-distance runner, Benson has completed 22 marathons. She and Ryan reside in Detroit with their toddler son, Aiden.