Max Benavidez, Ph.D.- Managing Director
Max Benavidez, Ph.D., is the managing director of Public Communications Strategies. He has 20 years experience in strategic communications, public policy development, strategic planning, use of new media and social marketing, Latino issues, brand development, media relations, crisis communications and issues management. He led the development of L.A. Public Media, a new public media service directed toward a young and diverse audience, which was created under a $2.4 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He serves as an advisor for the Converge Project at Harvard Medical School. He worked on strategic planning and crisis communications with the Annie E. Casey Foundation (located in Baltimore, Maryland) and its “Making Connections” Program based in 10 cities throughout the United States. He oversaw the board reorganization and restructuring of Self-Help Graphics in Los Angeles under a grant from the California Community Foundation; headed the strategic planning process for the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) under a grant from the Resources Legacy Fund; and was the strategic planner for the creation and launch of the California Latino Caucus Institute for Public Policy. He is a frequent speaker on public policy issues and leadership development and serves as a communications and policy advisor for executives in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Benavidez served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications at UCLA (1999-2002) where he executed a groundbreaking advertising campaign for the university. He was the Director of Media Relations at Caltech from 1992 to 1999, where he excelled in instant media response during an emergency and headed the Public Biology Series. His current roster of clients includes UCLA’s Center for Policy Research, Latinos & Economic Security, which is funded by the Ford Foundation; the Drucker Graduate School of Management; Lectura Books; Harvard University; and the California Latino Caucus Institute for Public Policy, where he served as the director of its public policy fellowship program from 2002-2009. He is a former adjunct faculty member at UCLA and has been published extensively on a wide range of topics including communications, the arts, public policy, cultural issues and social media. He is a former essayist for the Los Angeles Times and has worked in TV and radio as a producer and currently blogs for The Huffington Post. He received his B.A. and graduate education at UCLA and received his Ph.D. in New Media, Diversity and Higher Education at Claremont Graduate University in 2011.