Robert Friedman

Founder, General Counsel and Chair Emeritus

Areas of Expertise:

Robert (Bob) Friedman is the Founder, Chair of the Board and General Counsel for Prosperity Now. A recognized pioneer in the asset-building and economic development movement, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development from President Bill Clinton in 1999. He helped create the U.S. microenterprise, savings and asset-building fields and the international economic development and child savings fields. Currently, he is focused on economic development strategies that ensure an inclusive economy where all children and adults have a reasonable opportunity to save, go to college, start a business, buy a home and otherwise build an economic future for themselves, their families and the country as a whole.

His third book,A Few Thousand Dollars: Sparking Prosperity for Everyone, will be released by the New Press on October 9, 2018. In it, he argues that everyone needs a nest egg of at least a few thousand dollars to believe in and have a real economic future—as an entrepreneur, educated worker, homeowner, saver and investor—and that we could make this possible for everyone without spending another dollar, just by investing our wealth-building tax incentives in everybody rather than just the lucky wealthy few.

Bob is based in San Francisco (too far from his granddaughter) and serves on a number of Boards including Ecotrust, Child and Youth Finance International, the Rosenberg Foundation, Friedman Family Foundation and the Family Independence Initiative. He is a past board member of Levi Strauss & Co., a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, and author of The Safety Net as Ladder: Transfer Payments and Economic Development.