Robert (Bob) Friedman
Vice Chair, SFF Board of Trustees, and Founder and Chair Emeritus, Prosperity Now
Why do you do what you do?
I believe in the promise of America — that everyone should have the chance to be all she can be, and that if everyone has the chance to bring their dreams, talents, skills and work to the marketplace, we will all be better off for it. That’s why I started Prosperity Now — to help develop the community practices, public policies and private market interventions so that everyone has a reasonable chance to go to college, start a business, buy a home, save and invest, and create an economic future for themselves, their families, their community, and indeed, the country as a whole.
What drew you to serving on the board?
Fred asked. But, more seriously, I serve because I believe in the greater Bay Area community and the mission and potential of the foundation. My grandfather, Daniel E. Koshland, was a founder of the foundation. He believed in the San Francisco Bay Area community — all of it; he felt that it had enriched him and his life, and that he had a responsibility to give back. I feel that same responsibility and feel very fortunate to be able continue the work of my larger family in making the Bay Area the finest expression on the globe of equity and opportunity for all.
How would you describe your role as a board member?
I believe wholeheartedly in the commitment of the foundation to advance racial and economic equity in the Bay Area in a significant way in the next few years. If any metropolitan area in the world can become a place that offers all its people real opportunity, I think the Bay Area can. As a trustee, donor and member of the community, I am committed to seeing that the foundation is a good partner with all the other actors in the Bay Area — public and private, institutional and individual — in achieving this very American Dream.