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Staff

Francisca Benitez

Title: Program Associate, Global Designing Cities Initiative
Francisca Benitez

Francisca joined NACTO in 2021 and is a Program Associate to contribute across multiple programs at NACTO-GDCI, including Streets for Kids (SfK), Early Childhood Development (ECD), and the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS).

Prior to joining NACTO, Francisca was a Planning Associate at Kounkuey Design Initiative, where she assisted municipalities across California to access grant funding and bring new parks to low-income neighborhoods with limited park access. Francisca developed and facilitated community workshops, prepared concept plans, cost estimates, and wrote application grants. Additionally, she led a project funded by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to engage and support business owners in a large industrial site in Los Angeles.

Before that, Francisca was part of the founding team of PlacemakingX, a collective-impact network of placemaking leaders from all over the world. Her experience also includes working at What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative helping more than 100 U.S. cities better use their data.

Francisca is passionate about fostering inclusive spaces that promote community development and reflect the unique culture of a place. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a Bachelor in Strategic Design from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.