Focusing on Palestinian youth, the ADNI plans to create a network of individuals skilled in information technology, computer science, and related fields. Internet businesses serve as a key area for this body, as it will train its members in multiple programming languages, thus enabling them to create a variety of sites. Moreover, Mercy Corps introduced an Arabic-language version of its MicroMentor platform to further aid in the ADNI’s success.
When interviewed, Stephen Robert, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Source of Hope Foundation, talked about the importance of the endeavor, including how economic growth can encourage better and more peaceful societies. Outside of this initiative, Stephen Robert and Source of Hope Foundation contribute health care, food, water, and other necessities to people in need across the world.
Mercy Corps, Google.org and the Source of Hope Foundation have joined forces to launch the Arab Developer Network Initiative (ADNI) in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, is supporting the first two years of this effort with a $900,000 grant, and the Source of Hope Foundation is providing $1 million. The initiative is intended to spark innovation in information and communications technology (ICT) in the region, and catalyze income opportunities for youth, reaching over 1,000 Palestinian entrepreneurs in the first year.
Stephen Robert is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is the Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Watson Institute for International Studies. He is Director on the International Board of the U.S. / Middle East Project, and a member of the Foreign Policy Program Leadership Committee at The Brookings Institution. Mr. Robert is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and a member of the Investment Committee of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and a Trustee of the New York Presbyterian Medical Center. He was Chancellor of Brown University from 1998 – 2007 and he was also a Director of Millennium Promise.
Mr. Robert and his wife Pilar Crespi Robert are the founders of Source of Hope Foundation. Its philanthropic mission is to aid desperate populations, particular in providing food, water, health care, education and micro-finance opportunities. To date, the foundation’s activities have been primarily in Africa, Haiti, Palestine, Colombia and New York City.
Stephen Robert joined Oppenheimer & Co., a leading investment bank, in 1968. In 1979 Mr. Robert became president of the firm and in 1983 assumed the role of Chairman and CEO. In March of 1986 he became a principal owner of Oppenheimer through a management buyout. He resigned form the firm in 1997, after its sale to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. From 2005 to 2008 he served as Chairman and CEO of Renaissance Institutional Management LLC. Mr. Robert is a former Director of the Xerox Corporation.
Pilar Crespi Robert
Pilar Crespi Robert has had a longstanding career in the fashion world. While living in Rome, she worked as Fashion Coordinator for the designer Valentino. From 1990 to 1994 she was Worldwide Director of Communications of Gucci, based in Milano, Italy. She moved to New York in 1995 to open her own public relations agency – Crespi and Mariani Associates, and sold her business in 1999. In 1998 she won the ‘Matrix Award for Public Relations’.
She is now a Contributing Editor of Veranda Magazine, and the executive producer of Vlast, a documentary on Russian politics.
Pilar is Vice President of the Board of Henry Street Settlement, a social service agency that serves yearly 60,000 people in the lower east side of New York City. She is on the Advisory Board of Casita Maria, a charitable organization that serves Hispanics in Harlem and in the Bronx, and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Stephen Robert, financial expert and public intellectual, has been outspoken in his opposition to quick fixes for deep-seated economic problems. In his articles and essays, Robert has argued that Washington must focus on the underlying economic weaknesses in order to produce a long-lasting improvement in employment and GDP. Unlike many pundits, Stephen Robert does not simply popularize his theories on building a strong economy. He also puts them into practice through Source of Hope Foundation.
Source of Hope Foundation, founded, run, and funded by Stephen Robert and his wife, Pilar Crespi Robert, provides seed money for sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty. With projects throughout the developing world, Source of Hope seeks to alleviate poverty through food, clean water, education, healthcare, and microfinance. The charity prefers to fund programs that will give people the tools they need to break out of their day-to-day struggles and build a strong economic foundation for future growth. One current project focuses on creating jobs and economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza through Palestine’s fledgling information technology sector. By ensuring that people have access to the essential building blocks of prosperity, Source of Hope can promote peace and general well being.