The former owner, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Stephen Robert’s resume reflects a lengthy and successful business career. Chancellor of his alma mater, Brown University, from 1998 to 2007, he also served as Chairman and CEO of Renaissance Institutional Management LLC. Today, however, Stephen Robert spends most of his energy focusing on philanthropic and humanitarian projects.
The founder, with his wife Pilar Crespi Robert, of Source of Hope Foundation, Stephen Robert strives to make a difference in the lives of desperate populations living in poverty or recovering from catastrophic events. Through Source of Hope, the Roberts collaborate with other agencies to provide sustainable aid to distressed populations in many areas of the world including Haiti, sub-Saharan Africa, and New York City. That aid includes food, water, education, and health care, as well as micro-finance opportunities.
The foundation also supports the Henry Street Settlement, which serves 60,000 people annually in the Lower East Side of New York City, and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, where 50 percent of the patients are uninsured or on Medicare. Stephen Robert also sits on the Board of Directors of Millennium Promise, an organization that works with Source of Hope in Africa to end poverty and hunger.
In addition to his philanthropic work, Stephen Robert publishes articles related to foreign policy, as well as strong opinions on the plight of the U.S. economy. He shares his approach to fixing the banking system and turning America’s economy around in “Don’t Repeat Japan’s Mistake,” which appeared in The Daily Beast in 2009. In 2010, he wrote “The Fed’s Japanese Mistake Kicks Working People in the Teeth” for Forbes.com.
Mr. Robert most recently published an article titled “Can Moral Nations Abandon Palestine?” in the Israeli paper Haaretz. A frequent visitor to Israel and a major benefactor of the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Stephen Robert has often written about his concern for the continued conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. His influential article “Apartheid on Steroids,” condemning Israel’s human rights abuses, appeared in The Nation in August 2011.