Robert Friedman is the founder of the Corporation for Economic Development (CFED). He is a pioneer in the Microenterprise, asset-building and economic development movements, proving that given a reasonable opportunity, low-income people can start and expand businesses, buy and keep houses, go to college and create economic futures for themselves, their communities and nation. Bob is the author of The Safety Net as Ladder; Expanding the Opportunity to Produce, and a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. While at the Mesa Refuge, he worked on A Few Thousand Dollars: Building the Opportunity Economy, 1980-2030, reflecting on the lessons of the last 35 years opening real economic opportunity to low-income people, and the path ahead.
While at the Mesa Refuge, Robert felt called to fund his own scholarship in honor of his parents, Howard and Phyllis Friedman, to support writers and other creatives working toward an inclusive economy.