Bob is the founder of the Hildreth Institute, Inversant, and La Vida Scholars. Following a career in finance in Latin America at the IMF, Citibank, Drexel Burnham Lambert, and his own brokerage company, International Bank Services, Bob entered the nonprofit world to focus on issues of immigration and education. His first venture was the creation of an HIV hospice in Los Angeles in 1988 at the height of the epidemic. He learned that for him, effective philanthropy requires those making contributions to become actively involved in the design and operation of a project.
Upon his return to Boston, he joined with Boston University to improve the education of immigrant children in Chelsea where he helped build the John Silber Early Learning Center. Coming from a family of educators and a stint as a high school history teacher, Bob built three foundations with complementary missions to get low-income students to college. The first was in Lynn, Massachusetts named La Vida Scholars to use financial incentives to encourage 100 immigrant families of very bright children. The second, Inversant, focuses on parental engagement and financial literacy through the college process. Most recently, Bob founded the Hildreth Institute to advocate for student debt reform and tuition relief.
At the university level Bob has established internship programs at Harvard, BU, Johns Hopkins, Holy Cross, Bunker Hill Community College, and UMass Boston. He is also instrumental in the reconstruction of the State’s official ship, the Ernestina, which takes students to sea for educational trips.
Bob’s involvement has been recognized with numerous awards, including, 2008 Bostonian of the Year by The Boston Globe, Champion of Justice Award from the Greater Boston Legal Services in 2007. In 2012, he was recognized as a Purpose Prize Fellow and El Planeta’s 100 most influential people for Latinos in the state of Massachusetts in 2009, 2010, and 2013.
Bob is a graduate of Harvard University (Class of ’72), and holds Master degrees from Johns Hopkins University SAIS (Class of ‘75) in International Relations, and George Washington University (Class of ‘80) in Economics. He has served on numerous boards including the BU Board of Trustees and presently serves on UMass Boston’s Board of Visitors, Bunker Hill Community College Board of Advisors, and WBUR’s Board of Overseers.