Representative Wenona Benally was elected to the Arizona House in 2016. Prior to becoming a state representative, Wenona worked as an attorney for law firms in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon and a research analyst at ASU. Wenona served as an advisor to the Obama Tribal Leaders Steering Committee and recently served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and a Navajo Nation executive director under the President Begaye administration.
In her first term at the legislature Wenona sponsored a bill to expand the state’s definition of domestic violence to include non-married couples. She also cosponsored bills to increase teacher salaries, require greater transparency and accountability from taxpayer-funded charter schools, and increase funding for the low-income child care assistance program so that there is no longer a waiting list for this important service.
Wenona holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is also a graduate of Barrett, the Honor’s College at Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
Wenona and her husband Salomón F. Baldenegro live in Window Rock.