President & CEO
Robert C. Bobb leverages more than 40 years of executive management experience in both the private and public sectors. He is the owner, President and CEO of The Robert Bobb Group, LLC (RBG), a multi-faceted private/public sector consulting firm specializing in: Public and Private Sector Turnaround Consulting and Advisory Services; Financial and Organizational Restructuring; Expert Witness Services; Budget Management Services; Labor Relations; Economic Development Advisory Services; Emergency Planning, Public Safety and Policing, Real Estate and Asset Management Services, Education, Local/State/Federal Government turnaround and contract negotiations. RBG primary objective is to help governments, schools and businesses find financial and operational solutions, greater efficiency and long-term viability.
Recently, Mr. Bobb served as Emergency Financial Manager of the 87,000-student Detroit Public Schools (DPS) from March 2009 through May 2011. Robert was appointed Emergency Financial Manager for DPS by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, which was extended by her successor, Gov. Rick Snyder. DPS was a school district in crisis due to decades of mismanagement and corruption. He 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. In his first year as the Emergency Financial Manager of DPS he was named the Champion for Children by the Michigan Association of School Administrators, a statewide association which represents the superintendents and first-line administrators of Michigan’s local and intermediate school districts. He was recognized as the Michigan Newsmaker of the Year by WXYZ-TV and along with Mayor Dave Bing as Newsmakers of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business. The Detroit Turnaround story has been covered nationally by Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Bond Buyer, the Associated Press, and Education Week. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, and Meet the Press.
Mr. Bobb is the former City Administrator and Deputy Mayor for Washington, D.C. and served as the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security Advisor. He managed a workforce of approximately 20,000 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion dollars. In November 2006 he was elected city-wide as the President of the Washington, D.C. Board of Education and served on the Washington, DC State Board of Education. Mr. Bobb also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington, DC Chamber of Commerce as well as the Chairman of the Board for the DC Children’s Youth Investment Trust Corporation. Prior to this, Mr. Bobb served as the City Manager of Oakland California and Executive Director of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency; City Manager of Richmond, Virginia; City Manager of Santa Ana, California; and City Manager of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Mr. Bobb holds the distinction of having served on a continuous basis as the longest tenured African-American City Manager/City Administrator in the Nation. He is an expert on the issues facing urban government in the realms of education, economic development, community and neighborhood development, municipal budgeting and finances, contract negotiations, public/private partnerships of sports franchises, libraries and recreation facilities, and public safety.
Amongst Mr. Bobb’s many international achievements and speaking engagements in Public Safety and City Management, his most recent experience was in Baku, Azerbaijan in October 2008. Mr. Bobb served as a member of an official team of a 40 person American Observers Group, who carried out a detailed observation and analysis of the Azeri Presidential election. In 2008, Mr. Bobb also served as a consultant to RTI International on governance structures in Rabat, Morocco.
His career of such wide-ranging achievement earned him the prestigious International City/County Management Associations ICMA L.P. Cookingham Award for Career Development and was awarded four ICMA Innovation Awards. He also earned the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) Marks of Excellence Award and is a former President of the NFBPA. By proclamation, former California Governor Gray Davis declared April 11, 2001, “Robert C. Bobb Day” in that state. In September 1993, City & State Magazine (now Governing Magazine), a periodical for city and state government officials, named Robert Bobb as the “Most Valuable Public Official” among professional managers of the countries local governments. In addition, Mr. Bobb was one of the Grio.com’s 100 most influential people in the year 2011 for his work in as the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools.
Mr. Bobb frequently lectures on urban issues and was the District of Columbia Government Delegate to the Second High Level Forum of World Mega Cities Development in Nantong, China in 2005 and the First High Level Forum of World Mega Cities Development in Beijing, Nantong, and Shanghai, China in 2004. He was a local government delegate at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002. As a member of the U.S. Delegation to China in 1991, Mr. Bobb examined urban problems in that country. An avid sportsman, he is also an ardent supporter and patron of the arts, and a pro-active champion for civil rights. Mr. Bobb finds time in his busy schedule to mentor urban youth and young professionals. Under his direction, several successful outreach programs were designed and administered to foster urban youth in civic responsibility, educational achievement, and competitiveness in the employment market. Notably, more than 19 of Mr. Bobb’s former assistants have advanced to make their own contribution as City Managers, County Executives, Public Safety Directors, Directors of Public Utilities, Deputy Mayors, and Federal Government Directors. Robert C. Bobb earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana and a Master of Science in Business from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 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.
Mr. Bobb is a Fellow of the 2005 Broad Foundation Urban Schools Superintendents Academy, Founding President of the City of Oakland, California African American Chamber of Commerce, Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, Member of the International County Management Association, former member of the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy Advisory Committee at the College of William & Mary, and former member of the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Military Institute.