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Los Angeles County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Ben Allen

Candidate for
Board of Education; Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate

Local Positions

  • SMMUSD Financial Oversight Committee
  • Santa Monica College Bond Oversight Committee
  • Santa Monica College General Advisory Board
  • Lifetime Member, Samohi Alumni Association
  • Volunteer, Measures R and ES
  • Community Organizer, Los Angeles Unified School District, Measure K, Fall 2002

Work Experience

  • Regent, University of California, 2006-08
  • 12th Grade Teacher, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, 2007-08
  • Judicial Clerk, U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2006
  • Press Secretary, U.S. Congressman Josť E. Serrano (D-NY), 2004-05
  • Development work in Latin America, National Democratic Institute, 2001-04
  • 3rd Grade Teacher, Harvard Hillel Childrens' School, 1996-2000


  • UC Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), JD, focus on education law and policy, 2008
  • Cambridge University, M.Phil., Latin American Studies, 2001
  • Harvard University, BA magna cum laude, History, 2000 (study abroad-Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Santa Monica High School, Graduated 1996, Student Body President, Troop 2 Eagle Scout, Homecoming King, Captain Hook in Peter Pan
  • Lincoln Middle School, Santa Monica, 1989-1992 Franklin Elementary School, Santa Monica, 1983-1989

Ben's Work as a UC Regent

In 2006, Ben was selected to serve as the 33rd student member of the UC Board of Regents. While on the Board, Ben pushed through several important reforms aimed at strengthening public interest loan forgiveness at the UC's professional schools, promoting waste reduction, strengthening the University's environmental standards, and creating a new committee at the Regents' level to address issues of student/campus life and alumni affairs. Ben also served on several key executive search committees, including those for the UC's new President and the new Chancellor of UC Riverside, and was involved with an important initiative to expand the University's relationship with California's K-12 educational system and another one devoted to improving diversity in the University. His academic research while at Berkeley focused on the law and politics of California school finance. For more detailed information about Ben's work as a UC Regent, please see the weblinks here:

Ben comes from a family of educators. His mother Elena was a long-time public high school teacher and is a current member of Santa Monica's Arts Commission, father Michael is a professor at UCLA, and sister-in-law Claudia is a teacher at Santa Monica High School and member of the District-wide PTA Council. His niece is a student at Edison Elementary School and nephew will be there soon.

He is fluent in Spanish.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: November 3, 2008 06:12
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