Giovanna (Odessa) Gonzalez Benson is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington (2017), and MSW from Arizona State University (2010).
Dr. Gonzalez Benson's areas of research are: refugee resettlement, refugee/immigrant-led organizations, participatory approaches to urban governance and social services with refugees and immigrants, state-civil society relations, critical policy studies. She pursues interdisciplinary work integrating social welfare and community perspectives with refugee studies and urban studies, particularly within the context of ‘new refugee destinations’ such as Michigan and the broader midwest. Past research examined policy-driven vis-a-vis refugee-driven resettlement, based on nationwide data on refugee-run organizations in 30 U.S. states. She draws upon engagement with refugee communities, diverse education and work experience s and her personal path as a 1.5-generation immigrant to inform and motivate her research. She has a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington, MSW from Arizona State University and BA from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.