As the dean of the School of Business at St. Catherine University, Benson K. Whitney works to develop a strategic vision for advancing the School of Business and its reputation locally, regionally and nationally. He leads initiatives to strengthen and expand academic program offerings that anticipate market needs and focus on applied learning, including internship opportunities, leadership courses, career development, stretch projects, student showcases, and enhanced corporate partnerships. Through Whitney’s guidance, the School of Business will continue to excel at launching students into career and life success while expanding the University's partnerships with businesses.
Whitney has extensive professional and volunteer experience in business, law, education reform and public affairs. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway from 2005-2009, where he oversaw all aspects of a bilateral relationship with Norway and managed the U.S Embassy in Oslo. Prior to that, Whitney practiced business law and spent time as a venture capitalist, managing and advising firms as chief executive officer of Whitney Management Company, a private investment advisory firm.
Whitney helped establish and grow education reform nonprofits, including Great MN Schools, a $15 million venture philanthropy fund to develop high-performing schools for low-income children in Minneapolis. He also served in leadership roles across a variety of other nonprofit organizations, including the Guthrie Theater, Wilderness Inquiry, The Minneapolis Foundation, Persephone Fund, Headwaters Fund, Minnesotans for Term Limits, and the Foundation for Afghanistan.
Whitney graduated magna cum laude from Vassar College with a bachelor’s degree in history. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. He also holds a master’s in public management from Georgetown University with a focus on education policy.