Elected as the top vote-getter in the 2008 School Board elections, Ben Allen currently serves as the President of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education, which oversees an annual budget of $120 million and a student population of nearly 12,000. His work on the Board has focused on narrowing the achievement gap, communications, numeracy/literacy, financial sustainability, good management and good legal practices. He also serves on the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Committee on School District Organization.
Allen recently joined the law firm of Richardson & Patel LLP as Of Counsel, where his work focuses on government/political affairs and litigation.
While a law student at UC Berkeley, Allen served as the student member of the University of California's Board of Regents, and as a judicial clerk with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. After law school, Allen joined Bryan Cave LLP where he was an active member of this international law firm’s litigation and government relations/public policy legal teams.
In 2010, Allen led the Los Angeles launch of the Spark Program as their general counsel and Los Angeles Managing Director. He oversaw Spark LA's growth from a pilot program with 12 students to one now serving 250 annually, with a half-million dollar budget. He now serves on Spark's Los Angeles Advisory Board.
Prior to law school, Allen worked in Washington D.C. for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and then as Communications Director for New York Congressman Jose Serrano.
Allen is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, a State Department supported, bipartisan non-profit organization that engages next-generation U.S. and foreign political leaders to international affairs and public diplomacy. He serves as a Truman National Security Fellow, a Senior Fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, and as a board member for the Social Justice Learning Institute, a UCLA-based non-profit organization that works to improve academic outcomes for African-American male youth in Inglewood and beyond. Fluent in Spanish, Allen has lectured on politics, school finance, and democratic participation at universities and institutes locally and abroad.
Allen received his B.A. in History magna cum laude from Harvard University, his Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from Cambridge University, and his J.D. from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall).