Rebecca Swanson joined BhoCO as Deputy Ombudsman in 2019. She brings fifteen years of public policy and research experience to guide the establishment and operations of the Ombudsman office. Prior to this she was Director of Strategic Initiatives at Mental Health Colorado, where she crafted legislation to strengthen mental health coverage laws and helped create BhoCO via Colorado HB18-1357. She also worked in communities across the state to assess and fund community mental health solutions through local initiatives.
Rebecca’s past work includes five years as Research Director for the University of Denver’s Strategic Issues Program, whose primary mission was to encourage informed public discussion on topics that are important to residents of Colorado and the nation.
Rebecca also served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Colorado Governor’s Office. One of her primary areas of focus was local affairs, as well as the intersection between local, state and federal policies. She represented the governor on the Western Governors Association Staff Council, and chaired or served on several gubernatorial boards and task forces.
Rebecca obtained a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Denver, where she worked as graduate research assistant for former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm. Additionally, after studying Neuroscience at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, she spent more than a decade educating both children and adults. This work included five years in the Minnesota public K-12 school system, and many years planning and leading national and international-based wilderness and service learning trips. This is where her passion for advocacy and public service began, and has continued throughout her career and personal life.