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.
Stephen Robert earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1962 and attended Columbia Business School and the London School of Economics.
Robert joined Oppenheimer & Co. in 1968 as a portfolio manager of the Oppenheimer Fund. He became a partner of Oppenheimer & Co. in 1970 and a member of the Executive Committee and director of research in 1977. In 1979, he became president of the firm and in1983 assumed the role of chairman and CEO. In March 1986, Robert led a management team which returned Oppenheimer to private ownership through a management buy-out. In November 1997, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. was acquired by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Robert has served as Chancellor of Brown University and has been a Trustee or Fellow of the University since 1984. He is a former Board member of the New York Philharmonic and Thirteen/WNET.