Robert C. Bobb
President and CEO
As President and CEO, Robert Bobb leverages more than 30 years of executive management experience to help governments, schools, and businesses find financial and operational solutions, greater efficiency and long-term viability. He provides expertise on the issues facing urban governments, including implementing educational reform, economic development, community and neighborhood development, managing municipal budgets and finances, and effective contract negotiations.
Mr. Bobb has served as City Manager for Oakland, California; Richmond, Virginia; Santa Ana, California; and Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is the former City Administrator and Deputy Mayor and Homeland Security Advisor for Washington, DC, and in 2006 was elected President of the Washington, DC Board of Education.
Most recently, Mr. Bobb was appointed Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, which was extended by her successor, Gov. Rick Snyder, from March 2009 to June 2011. DPS was a school district in crisis due to decades of mismanagement and corruption. Mr. Bobb immediately assembled a team of national turnaround experts to address the district’s legacy deficit and develop a Master Education Plan for 21st Century Teaching and Learning. His efforts resulted in a myriad of long-standing academic programs, the successful passage of a $500.5 million bond issue, and a pledge to have all Detroit children reading at grade level in third grade by 2015. He confronted an even greater challenge in addressing exploding budget deficits. Mr. Bobb’s immediate cost-cutting measures reduced the deficit by $86.8 million by June 2009. For more about the DPS story, click here. [link to Successes page]
In his first year in Detroit, Mr. Bobb was named the Champion for Children by the Michigan Association of School Administrators. He was recognized as the Michigan Newsmaker of the Year by WXYZ-TV, and along with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, as Newsmaker of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business. In September 2010, he was a guest on “Meet the Press” along with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Mr. Bobb earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Grambling State University and a Master of Science in business from Western Michigan University. He also completed the certificate program for Senior Executives in State and Local Governments from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he served as a member of the Executive Alumni Council.