U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Leigh Benda, Chief Financial Officer
Office of the Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Benda currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the major grant making entity within the Department of Justice, a position which she has held since September, 2010. In this capacity she serves as the principal financial advisor to the Assistant Attorney General accountable for a multi-billion annual budget and stewardship of approximately $10 billion in active grants.

Ms. Benda began her federal civilian career as a management analyst for the Department of the Army in 1986, assuming progressively more responsible assignments as a budget analyst, budget officer, and financial manager. In 1998 Ms. Benda accepted a promotion to a program analyst position with the Department of the Treasury, Office of the Under Secretary of Enforcement, and progressed to the position of financial advisor to the Director of the Office of Financial Management for the Department of the Treasury's Departmental Offices.

In 2001 Ms. Benda accepted the position of Budget Officer for Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). As a result of enactment of the Homeland Security Act in 2002, ATF was restructured into two separate bureaus, one of which remained with the Department of the Treasury and one of which was realigned to the Department of Justice and renamed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Ms. Benda was a key member of the team leading the financial restructuring of ATF, which included negotiating the division of all personnel and financial resources between the two bureaus, closing all existing financial accounts, and creating/executing new accounts in the middle of the fiscal year.

Ms. Benda accepted the position of Deputy Chief Financial Officer for OJP in January, 2007, serving as the deputy to the principal financial advisor to the Assistant Attorney General until her promotion to Chief Financial Officer in 2010.

Ms. Benda is a Certified Government Financial Manager. She has a Masters of Science in Business Administration from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management (cum laude) from Arizona State University.

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