Benjamin Palumbo has been involved in politics since 1958, when he volunteered with the College Young Democrats to support the election of Harrison A. Williams, Jr. to the US Senate. He earned his MA in Political Science in 1961. In 1963, he became a member of the staff of then-Gov. Richard J. Hughes in New Jersey. He held various posts, including director of research for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. He was a member of the Trenton, New Jersey, School Board, and served an unexpired term on the Mercer County Board of Freeholders. He was assistant dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University before being named administrative assistant to Sen. Williams of New Jersey. While in that post, he was elected president of the Senate Association of Administrative Assistants and Executive Secretaries, and cofounded the Senate staff organization known as the Chairmen’s Representatives. He served as National Campaign Director for Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s presidential campaign. Following that, he served as staff director of the Democratic Caucus of the US House of Representatives. Following his Congressional/presidential campaign posts, he left for the lobbying world.
He worked in the corporate world before founding his own lobbying firm with Joseph Cerrell known as Palumbo & Cerrell, and represented a variety of clients. Over the years, he has been active in various organizations. He currently serves on the boards of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (a progressive Catholic organization); the John Mott Foundation (providing scholarships in Southern Italy); Nyumbani, the Children of God Relief Fund (assisting Kenyan children and families devastated by HIV/AIDS); and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. His past volunteer service includes the presidency of the Rutgers Club of DC, and the boards of the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.