Louisa Benton

Executive Director

Louisa Benton has over 25 years of experience in non-profit leadership and has been at the helm of HDRF since 2013.  She works closely with HDRF’s team of top brain scientists, the Depression Task Force, to put complex science into clear and accurate language for the general public. She also focuses on creating programs to raise community awareness and mental health literacy for parents and teens across the country.  This involves bringing scientists and other experts to Town-Hall type forums to speak with students about mental health and the brain.  Louisa has a dual degree in History and Science from Harvard University,  and a Masters in Journalism and International Affairs from Columbia University.  As a journalist, she has written features for the Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, and the New York Times.

Louisa’s life-long interest in the brain began in high school, where she won top honors in Biology and spent a semester in a neuroendocrinology lab at Mass General Hospital.  At Harvard, she wrote an original biography on the scientist Arturo Rosenblueth, who in the 1930s helped discover that nerve cells communicate with each other using chemicals known as neurotransmitters.  This is now a foundational part of our understanding of brain function. The biography is permanently stored in the Harvard Archives and has been cited in other scholarly works.