For more than two decades, Craig Benedetto has worked in communications and government, focusing on public policy and economic growth. He applies this experience to help California Strategies’ clients effectively position themselves with key stakeholders. His strength lies in his deep relationships in the community and experience with all levels of government.
Benedetto draws on his diverse experience in industry and government to provide California Strategies’ clients counsel on business, messaging and outreach strategies to achieve their goals and objectives. He can draw on an extensive network of contacts throughout San Diego and on his experience in governmental issues to help clients seeking contracts, permits regulatory relief or strategic partnerships.
Benedetto joined California Strategies in 2008 as a Principal and manages the firm’s San Diego office with Ben Haddad. In his work at California Strategies, he has represented a diverse array of clients including, health care providers, technology and wireless companies, home builders and landowners, utilities, engineering, and land use firms, business and homeowners associations, local government agencies among many others.
Benedetto helped elect Pam Slater to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1992, as her campaign manager. He then pivoted to a public policy role as Supervisor Slater’s legislative aide, working on issues ranging from law enforcement and the courts to sheltered animal care, social services, and land use. He subsequently ran then-County Supervisor Brian Bilbray’s successful Congressional primary campaign in 1994. He also served as his chief policy aide overseeing all county operations. Benedetto then leaped into the private sector, serving as the Director of Government Affairs for the local Building Industry Association, and then as Vice President of Public Policy for the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce. After working for a large public relations firm, Benedetto then opened his own public relations and government affairs company, Benedetto Communications, in 1999, which he operated until joining California Strategies in 2008.
Benedetto is active in civic affairs in San Diego and sits on the Board of Directors and executive leadership team for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown San Diego Partnership and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. He has also sat on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. Benedetto also participates in the local chapter of the Building Industry Association, serving on their City/County Legislative Committee, the Public Policy Committee of the SD Regional EDC and is an elected member of Lambda Alpha, a land-use fraternity.
A native San Diegan, Benedetto attended San Diego State University studying political science. Benedetto was honored in 2001 as one of San Diego’s “40 Under 40” by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine. The Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce honored Benedetto with its President’s Award and Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award in 2004 for his efforts on behalf of the business community to win the campaign to extend the local transportation sales tax, known as TRANSNET.