Cynthia A. Bens
Vice President, Public Policy, Alliance for Aging Research
Cynthia Bens is the Vice President of Public Policy at the not-for-profit Alliance for Aging Research in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Ms. Bens is responsible for guiding the organization’s federal policy work, representing the Alliance in multiple national coalitions, and directing all aspects of the Accelerate Cure/Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease (ACT-AD) and Aging in Motion (AIM) coalitions. Ms. Bens sits on the Alliance for a Stronger FDA Board of Directors and is a Founding Executive Committee Member of Friends of the National Institute on Aging (FoNIA). She has served on the Steering Committee of the Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC) since 2008 and is the sole patient adviser to the FDA Subcommittee of BIOCOM, the largest regional life science association in the world, representing more than 550 companies in Southern California.
For the past 12 years Ms. Bens has worked to inform federal policymakers and educate the public on a variety of issues. For more than half of that time her efforts have centered on the formulation of policies to expedite the development of interventions to treat and prevent many debilitating age-related disease; to remove access barriers to needed treatments and therapies; and to improve the coordination and quality of care seniors receive. Since 2010, Ms. Bens has been the only patient stakeholder from the aging community consistently advocating before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Congress for enhancements to the FDA’s user fee programs that would improve the development of treatments and medical devices intended for use by people 65 and older. These enhancements were codified in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA). Ms. Bens has also led advocacy efforts to elevate the profile of basic research into aging funded by all institutes and centers (ICs) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This advocacy led to the creation of a trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) comprised of more than 20 NIH ICs, including the National Institute on Aging, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, among others.
Prior to joining the Alliance in 2006, Ms. Bens was a senior manager of government affairs with the Loeffler Group. As part of its federal government affairs practice, she represented diverse client interests before the U.S. Congress and the administration. Her core areas of focus included appropriations, budget, health care, education, telecommunications, and international trade. Through various other positions on Capitol Hill and in the private sector, she has acquired extensive experience researching and analyzing federal legislation and regulations. Ms. Bens holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from New York University with concentrations in Political Science and Women’s Studies.