Born and raised in the Midwest by two public school teachers, Benjamin quickly learned the core values of education and hard work. At the age of twelve, Benjamin discovered the pleasure of public service while working for the local parks and recreation department. He continued volunteering with city and state organizations throughout his formative years.
After completing a university internship on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., Benjamin was recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He graduated from the F.B.I. Academy and worked for years within the National Security Division on the highest priority terrorism, intelligence, and international security matters.
Benjamin later transferred to the U.S. Department of State as an American diplomat and earned tenure in the Foreign Service while advancing security and diplomatic efforts abroad. He actively and loyally served four Secretaries of State and advised dozens of U.S. ambassadors. He received his Foreign Service tenure directly from Secretary Clinton and often traveled with U.S. Presidents as a security and human rights liaison. Benjamin volunteered to work in conflict and war zones while protecting and defending the lives of others. He also has served multiple times in Iraq.
Benjamin lived in North and West Africa for many years where he collaborated with international agencies including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Red Cross. Created by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps is Benjamin's favorite agency and was his inspiration to be a change agent overseas. It was during his years working in developing countries that Benjamin learned a new sense of appreciation that he translated into empowerment programs, job creation, skill-building and education initiatives.
Upon completion of his Ph.D. in International Psychology, Benjamin will continue working in Chicago as a professor while being an advocate for international human rights and global justice issues. His doctoral dissertation focuses on social movements and how basic human rights must be applied equally to every human regardless of race, gender, national identity or economic status. This idea sits at the cornerstone of his personal and political values.