Javier Benavidez is the executive director of the South West Organizing Project. SWOP has a long been a powerful influence in our his life; he spent time with the organization as a young person, interned with SWOP in the early 2000s, was arrested for protesting the Iraq War with us, and served on our board for several terms.
Javier is a proud Native New Mexican son of a public school teacher from Albuquerque’s South Valley and a civil rights attorney from the Acequia Madre community in Santa Fe. Javier and his wife Ann Marie are raising their three children (Annalysa, Mario, and Elias) in Albuquerque’s historic Barelas neighborhood, where they’ve also worked with neighbors to develop a non-profit focused on organizing and community development.
Javier comes to us from the Center for Civic Policy where he was the Communications and Leadership Development Director. He also worked as Speechwriter for then-Congressman Martin Heinrich and as Outreach Director for Conservation Voters New Mexico. Javier has served on the boards of many New Mexico non-profits and has two master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico (urban planning and public administration). He earned his bachelor degree in political science from Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school focused on social justice.