Martin J. Benison
2019 Hall of Fame Inductee
Martin J. Benison served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for over 30 years. Beginning as director of revenue for the House Committee on Ways and Means, he moved on to serve as budget director and then became deputy comptroller in 1992. In 1996 he was awarded Harvard University’s Robert F. Bradford Fellowship allowing him to receive an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Benison was sworn in as the seventeenth comptroller of the commonwealth in 1999, and was appointed to three additional terms. He is the longest serving comptroller in the history of the commonwealth.
Throughout his career, Benison has used innovative ideas to facilitate system improvements, automate financial management and business functions, increase government transparency, and foster productive partnerships for the common good.
He was elected the first chair of the U.S. Treasury Financial Management Services’ ASAP Customer Advisory Board, which served as the voice of the customer as the U.S. Treasury worked to issue more timely payments to grant recipients. He was chairman of the GASAC from 2009 through 2015, a time that saw the issuance of numerous standards from the GASB, including Statements 67 and 68 on accounting and financial reporting for pension plans.
Benison was a former founding co-chair of the AGA’s Intergovernmental Partnership, bringing federal, state and local governments together to tackle cross government issues. He chaired the Multi-State Alliance on Electronic Receipts, which worked to remove obstacles to the use of cost-effective electronic payment options by governments. From 2001 through 2014 he served on the AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee.
An active member of the NASACT community, Benison was president of NASC in 2006 and president of NASACT in 2012.
Under his leadership, Massachusetts was one of the first participants in NASACT’s Benchmarking Program. In response to calls from the SEC and others for more timely financial information, he spearheaded the development of NASACT’s Best Practices for Voluntary Disclosure.
He has authored chapters in four books published over the last two decades on leadership in government and has received numerous national awards recognizing his significant contributions.
In 2015, Benison left the public sector to continue his career as Accenture’s director of state and local government, where he advises clients on application improvements and business process redesign.
Embodying the concept of continuous improvement, Benison has challenged those in his state and around the nation to strive for excellence. His curiosity, creativity and generosity have served him well on a path of service that continues today.