Robert L. Schiffer has distinguished credentials that range from Wall Street to appointments under two White House Administrations and a New York Governor. He has broad experience in financial markets, diplomacy, crisis management, negotiations and trade policy. Mr. Schiffer currently serves as Executive Vice President of the US Vietnam Trade Council. At The Carey Group LLC, he provides advice to corporate and non-profit clients in international trade, finance and project development.
Mr. Schiffer is one of Washington's leading experts on Vietnamese commercial and political issues. His long involvement in Vietnam included an appointment from 1998 to 2001 as Senior Advisor to US Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson. As the Ambassador's top political envoy on business matters, he developed new strategies to promote US-Vietnam business and finance, labor standards, and international trade. He is credited for his pivotal role in the successful negotiations of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement and the OPIC-Vietnam Bilateral Investment Agreement.
Before his service in Vietnam, Mr. Schiffer was Vice President for Investment Development at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). During nearly two years, he managed the agency's product development, business and market development, and public affairs strategies. He led efforts to open business investment in Eastern and Central Europe, South Korea and Vietnam and was a key strategist with Congress, business and the labor community on OPIC's congressional reauthorization.
From 1993-1997 Mr. Schiffer held senior positions at the United States Information Agency (USIA), directing agency activities in Russia, the NIS, South Africa, China and Vietnam. He was noted for initiatives he led that assisted the peace process in the Middle East and in Northern Ireland, promoted legal reform and intellectual property, and created innovative professional exchange and training programs around the world.
Mr. Schiffer began his Federal service in 1993 in the Clinton White House where he worked as a Special Assistant in the Office of Management and Budget on the National Performance Review.
Mr. Schiffer's Wall Street experience from 1981-1992 included ranking positions with Drexel Burnham (Managing Director of the East Coast Public Finance Group), L.F Rothschild (Managing Director), A.G. Becker (Senior Vice President - firm later known as Becker Paribas) and Bear Stearns and Company (Vice President). He also was a founding partner of a boutique private financial firm, Schiffer and Lacey.
His accomplishments included the first private credit enhancement for a non-profit institution and development of the distressed hospital program (which tapped new capital for hospitals with low credit ratings), as well as being senior manager for the financing of Columbia Presbyterian and Mount Sinai Hospitals.
Mr. Schiffer's civic activities have included serving as Chairman of the New York State Real Estate Advisory Board to the Governor, Director and Treasurer of the Board of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Chairman of the Committee for Housing New York and the US Vietnam Trade Council.
Today he sits on the boards of the The Alliance for Safe Children in Bangkok, Thailand, that focuses on global child injury prevention; the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the John F. Kennedy Institute for Worker Education. Mr. Schiffer received his BA at the University of Tennessee and attended the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Managers in Government.