On April 13, Don Benton was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. at the Supreme Court to serve as the 13th director of the U.S. Selective Service System.
“As the son of a World War II Navy officer, I am deeply honored to accept this appointment and to lead this historic Agency and its dedicated team of professionals who are committed to ensuring the Selective Service System is ready to respond in the event of a national emergency,” Benton said in a press release.
As director of independent federal agency, Benton will oversee 124 full-time employees and work to register nearly all men ages 18 to 25 for the military draft.
Benton, a former Washington state lawmaker and College of the Canyons (COC) student, also served as a senior White House advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Trump transition period.
As a COC student, Benton served as men’s student body president, senator of athletic affairs and student trustee on the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees COC. During that time he also earned his associate degree from the college.
Following his graduation in June 1981, Benton ran for a trustee position on the board and was appointed following a November 1981 election.
“During my first term I helped choose our new District Superintendent Ray LaGranduer,” Benton said. “In 1985 I was re-elected to a second 4 year term during which time I served as President of the Board of Trustees.”
In total, Benton served two terms, or for eight years, on the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees.
Following his time on the community college board, Benton served one term as a Republican member of the Washington state House of Representatives.
He also served for 20 years, from 1997 to 2017, as a senator in the Washington State Senate.
At 17, Benton started his first company, Santa Clarita Temporaries Incorporated, and remained co-founder and president from 1979 to 1983. He built and sold other successful companies following his time at Santa Clarita Temporaries Incorporated.
Benton was raised in a military family. His father is a retired Navy officer and two of his brothers served in the Army and the Navy.
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