Senior Administration and Unit Directors

John F. Benton

Deputy Under Secretary for Finance and Administration

John Benton is the Deputy Under Secretary for Finance and Administration for the Smithsonian. Working with the Under Secretary, he oversees the Institution’s management and operations functions that include more than 2,200 employees. His major responsibilities include human and financial resources; information technology; procurement; planning; facilities operations, maintenance and capital programs; health and safety; and security. 

Benton has more than four decades of experience in finance, administration and management positions in state and federal government agencies and with the Smithsonian. In 16 years with the Institution, he served as the Acting Under Secretary for Finance and Administration before his current appointment, as associate director for finance and operations at the Zoo and as associate director for management and public programs at the National Air and Space Museum.

Before joining the Smithsonian, he spent 20 years with the Department of Treasury and served tours at the General Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and in Virginia state government.

A native of Virginia, Benton earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, magna cum laude, from the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.     

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