On March 9, 2021, Governor Henry McMaster appointed Benjamin I. Duncan II (Ben) as South Carolina’s first Chief Resilience Officer. Ben previously served as Program Management Director with South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office. He also served as Deputy Program Management Director and Director of Support for the Disaster Recovery Office. Ben has served as either the Program Director or in other management capacities in Disaster Recovery for the past six and half years. Prior to moving to the Disaster Recovery Office, he served as Deputy Director for Administration with the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
In total, Ben’s public service career spans thirty-five years and includes positions with the South Carolina Budget and Control Board (now known as the Department of Administration) and multiple gubernatorial appointments. He served in executive leadership positions in three previous governor’s office administrations as the Human Resources Director, Director of Finance and Administration, and Executive Budget Director. He also served as a Deputy Director in SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Ben is a graduate of Benedict College with a degree in Business Administration. He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. He has completed numerous executive leadership programs, including the State and Local Government Training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Business Executive Leadership for State Agency Directors at the USC Moore School of Business, Leadership South Carolina, as well as the Lexington Kentucky Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship Program, a national premier leadership development program entitled Leadership Development for State Officials.
In addition to public service, Ben serves as an adjunct professor at Webster University. Throughout his teaching career, Ben has received numerous awards, including a 2014 Dedication and Service to Students Award from Webster University, and the 2015 Webster University Faculty Member of the Year Award. He served as the Executive Director to the Board of Trustees at SC State University and continues to serve on the Master of Public Administration Advisory Committee at the University of South Carolina. In 2020, he was reappointed to the Board of Trustees at Francis Marion University by the South Carolina Legislature; however, with his appointment to the resilience office, he resigned from that Board on April 7, 2021.
Ben is an active member of the community, serving in various capacities such as chairmanship roles for numerous civic and community boards. He is a member of Saint John Baptist Church in Columbia, SC, where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Deacons.