2019 Gala Honorees

Pilar Crespi Robert and Stephen Robert

Stephen Robert has a long and extensive involvement in issues of foreign policy, particularly regarding the Middle East. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Watson Institute for International Studies. He is a member of the Foreign Policy Program Leadership Committee at The Brookings Institution and was Director on the International Board of the U.S./Middle East Project. Stephen is a member of the President’s Council of the International Crisis Group and he was also a Director of Millennium Promise. Stephen Robert is the author of a series of published articles on political and humanitarian issues in the Middle East. Mr. Robert was Chancellor of Brown University from 1998 to 2007.

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, Colombia, Haiti, Israel, Palestine and New York City.

Stephen Robert joined Oppenheimer & Co., a leading investment bank, in 1968. He assumed the role of Chairman and CEO in 1983 and became a principal owner in 1986. He resigned from 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.

Pilar Crespi Robert has had a longstanding career in the fashion industry and public relations.

After a successful fashion career in Rome, Pilar moved to New York in 1995 to open her own public relations agency – Crespi and Mariani Associates – and sold her business in 1999. She is now a Contributor Editor of Veranda Magazine and Executive Producer of VLAST, a documentary on Russian politics.

She is active in several philanthropic organizations, acting as Vice President of the Board of Henry Street, a youth social service agency, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Casita Maria. She is also heavily involved in the arts, having roles with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board in Venice, The Solomon Guggenheim Board in New York, and American Friends of the MAXXI in Rome.

Since January 2009, Pilar has been Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Source of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides aid in the form of food, water, healthcare and education to people in desperate need. To date, the Foundation’s activities have been primarily in Africa, Colombia, Haiti, Israel, Palestine and New York City.

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