2018 J. Luce Foundation Candlelight Award: Professor Lenni B. Benson

New York, N.Y. Lenni B. Benson is a Professor of Law at New York Law School, past adjunct professor at Columbia University teaching both immigration and refugee law, and is Founder, Director and Senior Advisor of the Safe Passage Project in New York City.

Professor Lenni B. Benson

The Safe Passage Project recruits, trains and mentors lawyers and student volunteers willing to represent immigrant youth on a pro bono basis and Prof. Benson teaches a clinic of advanced students who screen immigrant youth at the New York Immigration Court.



Prof. Benson has been teaching and writing in the field of immigration law since 1994. She serves on several cities, states, and national taskforces devoted to expanding resources for immigrants, especially unaccompanied migrant children. In addition, she is also an international speaker on immigration topics.


Prof. Benson has served as the Chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and a consultant/researcher for both the Administrative Conference of the United States and the Brookings Institution. At the same time, she is also an emeritus trustee of the American Immigration Law Foundation (now the American Immigration Council) and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served on the Board of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.


In the near future, Lenni B. Benson also commits to hosting a Global Adviser Seminar at N.Y.L.S. during April for the James Jay Dudley Luce foundation’s Young Global Leaders with immigration issues for legal assessment and adjudication.


For her characteristics of honor, intelligence, benevolence, and integrity, Lenni B. Benson received the Candlelight Awardee at the 18th Annual Leadership from the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation in 2018.

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Hunter Nguyen
Hoang 'Hunter' Nguyen is an international student from Hanoi, Vietnam. After seven years of studying and traveling in the United States, he is now an Accounting and Finance Student at SUNY Old Westbury. With his passion for the financial industry and business, Hunter has been closely involved with the stock market as a stock trader for the past five years and also worked with two different successful startups in Vietnam during his summer internships. Recently, he serves as a Young Global Leader at The J. Luce Foundation, where he can contribute his energy and effort to create positive impacts and connect goodness around the world.