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Benjamin Cadranel



Benjamin Cadranel

Director of Resource Development for Foster and Kinship Care Education, Woodland Community College
Year Graduated: 2008

Undergraduate: UC Davis
Major: Bachelor’s degree in French literature

Summary Bio

Benjamin Cadranel graduated from McGeorge in 2008. He currently works as the director of resource development for the Foster and Kinship Care Education (FKCE) program at Woodland Community College, a calling he discovered through volunteering for Yolo County CASA. He credits his legal training and experience for his ability to distill and solve problems affecting vulnerable populations. In addition to his JD, Cadranel holds a Bachelor's degree in French literature from the University of California, Davis (2003) and a Master's degree in accounting and financial management from Keller Graduate School of Management (2014).

Full Profile

Benjamin Cadranel '08 has always known he wanted to help people. Cadranel grew up in a French, Jewish family with grandparents who spoke Arabic. "I originally thought I would work for the state department and become a diplomat or apply to the Peace Corps, but I felt that becoming a lawyer first would help me in those types of professions and activities."

After earning his Bachelor's degree in French literature from the University of California at Davis in 2003, Cadranel worked for Robert Armstrong, a McGeorge alumnus '78 at Demler, Armstrong, and Rowland, LLP. He credits Armstrong for being one of his greatest mentors as he was starting the process of applying to law school. "Bob continually encouraged me to apply to law school. McGeorge was my first choice because of their excellent international programs and unbeknownst to be, Bob even made phone calls to speak on my behalf when I applied. Before I even set foot on campus, I discovered how strong and encouraging the McGeorge network is of one another."

After law school, Ben worked in several areas of the law and law firm administration, which ultimately led him to his true calling. First, he worked in criminal defense as a solo practitioner, where he received a breadth of courtroom experience. A few years later, he went back to work at Demler, Armstrong, and Rowland, LLP in litigation. He slowly began to realize that litigation wasn't his passion and moved on to work for a former colleague and friend who owned a real estate acquisition and management company. Interested in the business end of running a law firm, Cadranel earned his Master's degree in accounting and financial management from Keller Graduate School of Management in 2014. "I liked practicing the law but discovered through this experience I loved the business side of growing and running an organization."

It was during this time that Cadranel volunteered to become a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for foster youth in Yolo County. "From the training to the advocacy to the precious moments I spent with my CASA child, I knew I had found my calling. The youth I interacted with are some of the most caring, intelligent, loving, and resilient people I ever met." This passion, coupled with his love for business administration led him to accept his current position at Woodland Community College as the director of resource development for the Foster and Kinship Care Education (FKCE) program. He credits his law school training and experience practicing law for where he is at today. "In law school and beyond you learn to think analytically and listen well. These are skills that help immensely in any management position. The ability to get to the root of the problem and make a collaborative plan to change it are all skills that my legal training has enhanced. Additionally, my ability to read and interpret the law is crucial because it gives me an acute understanding of the resources available to foster youth."

As for the future, Cadranel is excited to grow his current position. "It's the same type of work I thought I wanted to do in international relations but for foster youth. I am listening to the challenges faced by a very vulnerable population and trying to reason through how best to develop and allocate resources to them. I am excited to go to work and make a difference each day."

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