Vice President of Programs
Benilda “Benny” Samuels joined Rose Community Foundation in March 2020. In her role as vice president of programs, Samuels directs the staff of the programs department in granting approximately $10 million annually in the seven-county Greater Denver area.
Samuels previously served as the chief operating officer for Nurse-Family Partnership, which serves more than 36,000 young women and their babies in 41 states and 6 tribal nations in the U.S. As COO, she managed a $15M budget and led teams in developing and implementing strategic plans, expanding and scaling their programs, leveraging philanthropic partnerships and investments, and piloting feedback loops to capture the insights of their clients and drive innovation. Prior to becoming COO, she served as Nurse-Family Partnership’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Samuels’ career also includes senior roles at Mile High United Way, Denver Health and Hospital Authority and the Denver Department of Human Services spanning the issues of health, education, poverty and more. Her accomplishments in building and expanding access to services for vulnerable populations include: leading and managing Medicaid and CHP+ eligibility and enrollment programs; a successful family planning project; child care assistance awareness and enrollment campaigns; child welfare projects to recruit foster parents; programs aimed at increasing Native Americans’ participation in public health insurance; projects aimed at reducing homelessness; community screening programs for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dental sealants, etc. Active in the community, Samuels has been a student mentor through Denver Kids, served on the Denver Great Kids Head Start Policy Council and was involved in board service with The Conflict Center, Denver Latino Commission, Sesame Street in Communities Advisory Board. At present, Samuels chairs the board of DC-based nonprofit, Feedback Labs.
Samuels holds a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Denver. She is a native of Panama and is bilingual in English and Spanish. She was 2014 United Way Worldwide Global Resident Fellow, is an alumna of the Leadership Denver Class of 2011 and was named one of Colorado’s 2020 Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.