Stephen Robert, Pilar Crespi Robert, Teresa Heinz, John Kerry

Stephen Robert, Pilar Crespi Robert, Teresa Heinz, John Kerry

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

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.


About Stephen Robert

Stephen Robert
Stephen Robert

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Overseers for the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, Stephen Robert works to bring social issues to light and to find solutions for some of the most important problems facing America and the world. As a member of the Investment Committee of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Stephen Robert helps raise awareness about public policy issues, including the United States’ response to the financial crisis and the massive growth of both national and personal debt.

Major media outlets such as, The Nation, The Periscope Post, and The Daily Beast frequently publish Mr. Robert’s views on various issues relating to domestic and foreign policy. He often compares the downturn of the U.S. economy to that of Japan in the 1990s, urging America not to repeat Japan’s mistakes. Stephen Robert’s article “Apartheid on Steroids,” describing his concerns about human rights abuses stemming from the continuous conflict between Israel and Palestine, appeared in The Nation in August 2011.

The founder of Source of Hope Foundation with his wife, Pilar Crespi Robert, Stephen Robert promotes a holistic approach to supplying sustainable resources, including micro-lending, better health care, nutritious food, clean water, and a basic education, to poverty-stricken areas of the world. Reaching out to the world’s desperately poor populations, Source of Hope provides aid in Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Palestine, Haiti, and other people in need, including underserved residents of New York City. In New York, Stephen Robert and Source of Hope support Henry Street Settlement, a social service agency that provides a broad range of programs to more than 60,000 residents of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Joining Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. in 1968 as a Portfolio Manager, Stephen Robert worked his way up through the company, becoming President in 1979, Chairman and CEO in 1983, and the principal owner by 1986. After selling the firm in 1997, Mr. Robert spent three years as Chairman and CEO of Renaissance Institutional Management LLC. The Brown University graduate has also served as Chancellor, Fellow, or Trustee of the university since 1984.