Kathia Benitez

Board Vice Chair

Kathia Benitez is a Regional Director overseeing Franklin Energy’s central region commercial & industrial operations, leads overall portfolio administration for a large utility, and provides subject matter expertise to all of Franklin Energy’s commercial and industrial programs. Previously, Kathia was the sustainability director at Northwestern University. She was instrumental in leading the development and implementation of the University’s first five-year Strategic Sustainability Plan (2017-2021). She led sustainNU, an inclusive and comprehensive University-wide program that aims to engage students, faculty, and staff in reducing and eventually eliminating Northwestern’s contribution to climate change. She administered sustainability and energy efficiency programs and projects in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff. She was instrumental in leading the institution to win consecutively Partner of Year in Energy Management from the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program.

Kathia is part of the 2020 Illinois Green Alliance Board of Directors, where she serves as Vice-Chair, supporting the organization’s goal of incorporating carbon drawdown strategies and solutions to every community in the Greater Chicago Area. Also, Kathia Co-Chairs the Boards Diversity and Inclusion Committee providing guidance and alignment accountability. Kathia serves as Vice-Chair to the Mujeres de HACE – Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Auxiliary Board of Directors, supporting the program’s professional development, fundraising, and mentoring efforts.

Kathia was recognized as a top-performing leader by Negocios Now Latinos 40 under 40 in the Chicago Metroland Area.