Benje grew up as one of ten siblings (eight of whom were adopted) in a biracial Black family in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  

He studied business and African American history at UC Berkeley before working and living as a consultant in New York, Kenya, South Africa, India and Pakistan. He completed an MBA from Stanford and moved back to Lahore, Pakistan to set up an education venture called Amal Academy.  

After running Amal for seven years, he transitioned back to New York and founded Understory, a non-profit startup focused on forest restoration.

He’s a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with Yale’s Program on Climate Change Communication and is working on his first book. He’s represented by Mina Hamedi (Janklow & Nesbit) and lives in New York City.