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Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN)

Guest Speaker Biographies - Robert Friedman

Robert (Bob) Friedman founded CFED in 1979 and continues as CFED’s Chair of the Board and General Counsel. Bob’s most recent initiative is the launch of CFED’s American Dream Match Funds, an innovative program aimed to unlock new streams of private and public funding that will catalyze the growth and capacity of local matched savings programs across the U.S.   In the recent past, Bob was an instrumental leader in the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) program, an initiative to create an inclusive system of children’s saving accounts in the United States. He continues to contribute to numerous efforts to develop the IDA and asset-building movements, as well as advising on new strategies to bring excluded communities into the economic mainstream as entrepreneurs, savers, investors, and skilled employees. 

A recognized leader in economic development innovation, Bob has contributed to the development of the U.S. microenterprise field, flexible business networks, state and federal entrepreneurial policy, and innovative benchmarking tools, like CFED’s Assets and Opportunity Scorecard. He helped to found the Association of Economic Opportunity (AEO). 

Based in San Francisco, Mr. Friedman also serves on the Boards of D2D Fund, EARN, the Rosenberg Foundation, the Friedman Family Foundation, the Koshland Committee of the San Francisco Foundation and CFED’s CDFI subsidiary, the National Fund for Enterprise Development (NFED) and is a former board member of Levi Strauss & Co. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.  He is author of The Safety Net as Ladder: Transfer Payments and Economic Development and a contributor to numerous CFED and outside publications.

Last Updated 10/28/2010

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