M. Christian Bender

Executive Director,
Brighter Choice Foundation

Chris Bender is executive director of the Brighter Choice Foundation, a non-profit foundation which operates 9 charter schools in Albany, New York. He also is a member of the boards of trustees of the New York Charter Schools Association; the Albany Academy, a 190 year-old pre-K through 12 independent day school; the Albany Medical Center Foundation; and Capital Region Sponsor a Scholar, an inner city academic support program for college bound high school students. Mr. Bender is the chairman of the boards of trustees of both the Achievement Academy Charter School and the Green Tech High Charter School for Boys. Additionally, he serves as vice chairman of the Brighter Choice Charter Schools. Mr. Bender previously was employed by Austin & Co., an insurance brokerage, where he established insurance programs for charter schools and independent schools across New York State. Mr. Bender holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Columbia University Teachers College, a bachelor’s degree in history from Rollins College, and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.