Bob encourages Christians to boldly speak out and lobby Congress on issues of global poverty. He feels too many Christians are afraid to engage in politics, but they should. He says, “We know God cares about people who are suffering. We are 100 percent sure of that.”
The interplay between faith and politics fascinates Bob. As World Vision’s director for the office of advocacy and government relations, Bob encourages Christians to boldly speak out on issues of global poverty. He says politics is like football — you can expect push-back, “but you can play fairly and make your voice heard.”
He works out of World Vision’s office in Washington, D.C. His team creates strategy for how World Vision engages with the U.S. government on public policies that affect the world’s poor. Bob is an expert who can go in-depth on issues of global health, HIV and AIDS, agriculture development, international food aid, the congressional appropriations process, and advocacy around the annual meetings of the G8.
In the global fight against AIDS, he has pushed G8 countries to do more to meet their commitments to universal access to treatment, prevention, and care.
Before joining World Vision in 2003, Bob worked for almost 15 years for both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Congress. He began his years on Capitol Hill in 1988 in a college internship for a highly-respected chaplain for the U.S. Senate. Bob says the experience gave him “a bird’s-eye view of faith and the political process.”
Most recently, Bob served as rules committee associate and foreign policy adviser for former Rep. Tony P. Hall, D-Ohio, who went on to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Organizations in Rome. A highlight of Bob’s career with Congress includes helping to successfully nominate Bishop Carlos Belo of East Timor for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
Bob earned a Bachelor of Arts at Michigan State University, majoring in international relations. He added a minor in religious studies, learning about the major world religions. He says, “I’ve always had a passion for how people’s faith motivates their values.”
Bob then went on to earn a master’s degree in international trade/business from George Mason University. He also studied at Cambridge University in England, and in Moscow, Russia. Bob has traveled to more than 30 countries — most of the trips on humanitarian business in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
He believes having a passion for a cause should be tempered with humility, but Christians should be bold. “It’s okay to be in there and push,” he says. “We know God cares about people who are suffering. We are 100 percent sure of that.”