Chief External Affairs Officer
Ben Avey is the Chief External Affairs Officer for Sacramento Steps Forward where he is responsible for Public Affairs (government, community, and media relations), the Coordinated Entry System, and Access and Outreach.
A nonprofit professional with a record of success as a public policy and legislative advocate, strategic communicator, and community leader, Avey joined Sacramento Steps Forward in 2017 to help end homelessness in his hometown.
Avey started his career in politics working on local political campaigns before making the leap to public policy as a legislative aid and district representative for members of the California State Senate and Assembly. From there he became a local government lobbyist for the biotechnology and life sciences industry.
In 2007 he met his wife Kyla, an Ensign in the United States Navy’s Nurse Corps, who stole his heart before the two married and moved to her next duty station in Yokosuka, Japan. In Japan, Avey became a civilian Public Affairs Specialist for the forward-deployed naval base and later a Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka and its eight branch clinics spread across the far-east. In his role, Avey was awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service medal for his service during Japan’s 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear emergency.
Returning to the United States, Avey joined the team at Family Health Centers of San Diego where he developed a passion for helping low-income and working communities. Following the birth of his second child, Avey returned to his hometown of Sacramento and served as a state-wide advocate for community clinics at the California Primary Care Association before joining Sacramento Steps Forward.
Avey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from San Diego State University. He served as an appointed member of the Sacramento County Public Health Advisory Board and is President of the nonprofit Friends of Camp Sacramento. Before moving to Sacramento was named one of San Diego’s 40 Under 40.
Avey lives in Fair Oaks with his wife Kyla and their four children.