Ben Dawson is an agent with the Brystol Foundation.
That organization is a research facility employing some very impressive brainpower. It was formed by Dr. Kenneth Brystol, "a world-class physicist and educator" that Dawson has known for a couple decades. It is said of the man that "he had lightness in his step and brightness in his eyes that conveyed energy and enthusiasm, and his attitude was infectious. He reminded Dawson of the professor played by Christopher Lloyd in the movie Back to the Future".
"Ben Dawson, a former operative with the National Security Agency, had left the NSA a few years earlier and gone to work at the Brystol Foundation. NSA was one of the largest customers of Brystol Foundation research and the resulting technologies. In addition, Dawson's former boss at NSA, Charles Jennings, was a classmate, long-time friend, and distant cousin of Kenneth Brystol. When Dawson became disillusioned with the constraints levied on him by the NSA, Jennings was very happy to broker the current arrangement. It essentially kept Dawson on the NSA payroll and gave Jennings and the Agency plausible deniability of his actions since Dawson was technically contracted through the Foundation. It enabled Dawson's work to be just another financial line item under 'research' in terms of NSA's funding."
When asked what he does at the Foundation, he replies, "At a general level, I am Dr. Brystol's 'gofer'. I go for this and go for that whenever he asks me to. I am also the Foundation's liaison into a few specific US government agencies."
Dawson describes himself as an average guy having an average height on an average build. I'm an intelligence guy, not a security detail type. Blending into a crowd is a good thing in my line of work." He also commented once that "I'm no Rambo, but I'm often called to work on difficult problems that involve many dimensions for Dr. Brystol, and sometimes they become what the British would call 'sticky wickets'. And when they do, I have a myriad of colleagues who live for that sort of thing while I try to stick to the intelligence side of the business." As he thinks to himself when he says it, "occasionally that even works".