Stephen Robert is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has chaired several study groups for that organization. He is an overseer at the Watson Institute for International Studies. He was Chancellor of Brown University from 1998-2007 and has been a Brown Trustee or Fellow since 1984. He is a trustee of the New York Presbyterian Medical Center and a former Board member of the New York Philharmonic and of Thirteen/WNET. Mr. Robert is also a member of the Foreign Policy Program Leadership Committee (PLC) at The Brookings Institution, a Director on the International Board of the U.S./Middle East Project, and a member of the Investment Committee of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Stephen and his wife Pilar Crespi Robert are the founders of The Source of Hope Foundation. Its philanthropic mission is to aid desperate populations, particularly in providing food, water, health care, education and micro finance opportunities. To date, the Foundation’s activities have been primarily in sub Sahara Africa, Haiti and New York City. Mr Robert is a Director of Millennium Promise, a humanitarian aid organization with extensive activities in Africa.
Stephen Robert joined Oppenheimer & Co. in 1968 as a portfolio manager of the Oppenheimer Fund. 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 the principal owner of Oppenheimer through a management buyout. He resigned from the firm in 1997, after selling it to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. From 2005-2008 he served as Chairman and CEO of Renaissance Institutional Management LLC. Mr. Robert is a member of the Board of the NEXAR Capital Group and a former Director of the Xerox Corp and of the NAC Reinsurance Corporation.
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, 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.