Benjamin Dessart is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and history in 2012. Upon graduation, Ben worked political campaigns throughout Virginia, including a period as political director for the U.S. House Majority Leader. He attended the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond and received his Juris Doctor degree in 2017. From 2014 to 2017, Ben served as legislative assistant to a member of the House of Delegates representing Virginia’s 56th District. After a time in local government affairs at Richmond-based Altria, he joined Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, a leading global agricultural supplier, as director of corporate affairs. In 2022, he was promoted to vice president of external affairs of Universal Corporation, responsible for advancing the interests of Universal’s 2,000 employees, 200,000 contracted farmers and the communities in which they operate.