Mayor names Mary Benton new director of communications

Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Mary Benton as the new director of communications, effective immediately. Benton brings valuable years of experience in media relations, strategic communications, crisis communications and social media strategy.

Benton joined the Mayor's Office of Communications as the press secretary in 2018 and quickly distinguished herself as a leader and trusted adviser.

In her new role, Benton will be responsible for ensuring all citywide communications align with the administration's goals and objectives. She will oversee all functions of the Communications Office, including public and media relations, ceremonial documents, social media strategy and compliance with the Texas Public Information Act. 

"I am pleased that Mary Benton has agreed to take on a bigger role in my administration as the Director of Communications. Mary's prior news media experience, and contributions as my Press Secretary, make her a valuable asset to the City," Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "In trying times like these, communication is critically important. Mary will ensure that Houstonians have the necessary information they need, whether it is during a public health crisis or my administration’s work and priorities to move Houston forward." 

Benton worked for more than two decades as a television news anchor and reporter in Waco, Austin, and Houston, Texas. Before joining the mayor's office, Benton held several communications and executive leadership roles in Harris County government.

A native of Harlingen,Texas, Benton earned a bachelor of journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

After leaving the television news industry in 2014, the City of Houston declared July 15 as Mary Benton Day, honoring Benton for her extensive community engagement and volunteerism with nonprofit organizations.

She was honored in 2019 by AAF-Houston as a leader in promoting diversity and inclusion and has been named an Influential Woman and Role Model in the community.