Diane’s Bio

About Diane Side Bar


PERSONAL DATA


Residence: Chugiak
Residency in Alaska: Lifetime
Children: Latseen D. Benson, Spc. U.S. Army, 101st Airborne
Fosterchild: Helen Marie Setuk, college student, Haskell College


DIANE E. BENSON, MFA

Diane E. Benson is an Alaskan politician, inspirational speaker, video production consultant, published writer and dramatist.

Diane Benson contracts in film/video production, research, and writing. Her success sharing the Elizabeth Peratrovich and Alaskan Civil Rights story is noteworthy and she is contributing to a PBS documentary on the subject. She just completed co-production of an important social video for rural Alaska. Besides a lifetime of work in multiple film/video, stage and radio programs, she is featured in a PBS special on the Alaska Pipeline – as a Teamster truck driver.

Diane ran Northern Stars Talent Agency in the 1990’s, promoting Alaska’s talent in film and commercials nationally and internationally. She received significant recognition from the Mayor, the State Legislature, and the International Committee for her success and leadership with the 1996 Arctic Winter Games held in Chugiak-Eagle River.

She is working on a Masters in Public Policy, has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, a Bachelors degree in Theatre with a Justice Minor and Journalism emphasis, and attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Diane has years of work and study in public entitlement law and state-tribal relations, and experience in journalism as a writer and lay-out artist.

Diane frequently keynotes nationally before such groups as judicial professionals regarding issues of violence and recovery, or in schools or communities facilitating discussions on race-relations, war and family, veterans, and other critical issues. Diane serves on Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Military Appreciation Committee, on the Healing Racism Steering Committee, was a two term President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp 87- Anchorage, and is an active member of the National Organization of Women.

Diane won the Alaska Democratic Party Congressional Primary for the U.S. House in 2006, causing a first in Alaska history when she provoked the incumbent into a live debate and successfully challenged habitual policies that prevented non-incumbents for Congress to make certain appearances. She also made history by acquiring over 40% of the vote, one of only three to do so in 33 years of opponents running for that Congressional seat.

Recent Awards:
• Trailblazer Award for public service – Delta Sigma Theta, A Professional Women’s Public Service Sorority (2007)
• Outstanding Service Award – Anchorage Equal Rights Commission (2006)
• Goldie Award, “Today in Alaska Native History” (2005)


BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS


Owner, Tleix Yeil Drama & Commentary, 2004-Present
Owner, Northern Stars Talent Agency, 1989-1996
International – Cultural Coordinator, Arctic Winter Games, 1995-96
Paralegal, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, 1986-88
Public Relations Director, United Tribes of Alaska, 1985-86


SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS/MEMBERSHIP


Member Alaska Veterans Foundation, 2006-Present
Member Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, 2007-Present
Member ACC Military Appreciation Committee, 2007-Present
Member Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, 1993-Present
Member National Organization for Women, 2006-Present
President Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp 87, 2005-2007
Member Healing Racism in Anchorage Steering Committee, 2004-Present
Member Special Faculty/Presenter, National Judicial College 2000
Member National Congress of American Indians, Lifetime Member
Member Alaska Press Women, 1994 – 2004
Member Alaska Film Group, 1993 – 1996
Member Chugiak Dog Mushers, 1992 – 2000
Member Chugiak ABATE, 1994-Present
Consultant National Museum of the American Indian, 1991-92
Member Teamster’s Union, Local 959, 1974–78, 1982-83