Amber Benton (she/her/hers) is Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Benton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Pacific University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition, she earned her Ph.D. in higher, adult, and lifelong education (HALE) from Michigan State University. Her dissertation research focused on the experiences of Black women undergraduates at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Benton recently co-authored the article, Comfort over Change: a Case Study of Diversity and Inclusivity Efforts in U.S. Higher Education published in Innovative Higher Education.
Prior to her role at U-M, Benton served as the assistant dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University, where she provided strategic leadership and educational opportunities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. While at Michigan State University, she previously held positions as an academic advisor and Director for Diversity Programming and Student Engagement. She created significant programs and communities such as MSU Women of Color Community (WOCC) and MSU Social Justice Art Festival.
In addition, Benton was the 2021 recipient of the MSU All-University Excellence in Diversity – Individual Emerging Progress Award for her extraordinary commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and former mentee of the Michigan American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network Senior Level Shadow Program. Benton is also a trained Intergroup Dialogue facilitator and active member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).