Meet Daniel Bennett, rural civic health program manager

Daniel Bennett is a community planner who has worked with dozens of Nebraska towns and cities to build and carry out development strategies for rural communities.


Daniel Bennett, a community planner who has worked with dozens of Nebraska towns and cities to build and carry out development strategies for their communities, is Civic Nebraska’s new rural Nebraska civic health program manager. The Nebraska native began his duties April 15.

In this newly created role, Daniel will supervise and build civic health programs that affect Greater Nebraska, including the Civic Catalyst Communities Initiative, the Rural Civic Action Program, and more. He also will be a key member of Civic Nebraska’s Civic Health team that will update the Nebraska Civic Health Index for 2020, host the 2019 Nebraska Civic Health Summit this fall, and coordinate other special projects to help the state’s towns and cities build civic health.

Prior to coming to Civic Nebraska, Daniel spent five years living in the Panhandle as a community planner for the Panhandle Area Development District. There, he engaged with small communities and regional leaders to envision and plan for a brighter future and build their “toolboxes” to make that future happen.

Daniel Bennett

“Working in planning and development in many communities, I started to get the sense there was something underlying the success of communities that had more to do with social connections, trust, and participation than population counts and tax revenue,” Daniel said. “For me, ‘civic health’ names what has to work for our communities to be at their best. I’m excited to join the Civic Nebraska team and folks across the state to strengthen the civic health of communities.”

Daniel will be based in Lincoln, but will retain a fairly nomadic existence traveling around the state.

“Having so many incredible friends and colleagues around the state, I’m proud to call Nebraska home and am excited to work where my roots are,” he said.  

Daniel’s background in community and regional planning will bring a new perspective to Civic Nebraska. He most frequently worked with comprehensive planning, zoning, redevelopment finance tools, and community development projects. His other work partnering to develop resources for social enterprise and the weaving of economic development and community health are indicative of the entrepreneurial and “whole community” approach he brings to the Civic Health team.

Daniel is a graduate of Iowa State University’s Community and Regional Planning undergraduate program. In his spare time, he enjoys percussion and vocal music, running, hiking, spending time with family, and being involved in church and other volunteering in the community.

Join us in welcoming Daniel. He’s at

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