Ben was born and raised in Santa Barbara, attending local schools and graduating from Lewis & Clark College in 1996. Ben began his career in politics serving in the Washington and California Congressional offices of both Walter and Lois Capps. He was the campaign manager and political director for Congresswoman Capps and her campaigns from 2000 to 2005. In 2001, Ben launched a political, government, and public relations consulting firm serving electoral, nonprofit, and corporate clients with offices in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Bend, Oregon. Ben left politics and entered the education and nonprofit fields in 2005; first as the Director of Community Education and Special Projects for the Santa Barbara County Education Office. In that capacity, he also served as the Executive Director of Partners in Education and oversaw programs such as Transitional Youth Services for Homeless and Foster Youth and AmeriCorps. In 2012, Ben became the Executive Director of First 5 of Santa Barbara County, which oversees the expenditure of California Proposition 10 tobacco taxes and devotes those funds to programs and services that support 0-5 year olds in becoming ready for kindergarten. Ben has a six-year-old daughter named Ruby who he raises with her mother Geordie and is an alumni of the Katherine Harvey Fellows program.