Chicago, IL – Today, the Barack Obama Foundation announced that John Rogers, Michael Sacks and Robert Wolf will join the Foundation’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Rogers, Sacks and Wolf join current members Martin Nesbitt, J. Kevin Poorman, David Plouffe, Maya Soetoro-Ng, John Doerr, Thelma Golden and Julianna Smoot who serve as volunteer members of the Board. Nesbitt serves as the chairman of the Board.
John W. Rogers, Jr. is Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments in Chicago. In 1996, Rogers helped found a public school with an enhanced financial literacy curriculum, the Ariel Community Academy, which remains an educational fixture in the city. Rogers also served as the co-chair of then-President-elect Barack Obama’s Inaugural Committee in 2009, as the president prepared to take office. Michael J. Sacks is the Chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor in Chicago, and has worked extensively with the City and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on local economic development efforts. Sacks serves at the Vice Chairman of World Business Chicago, a member of the Mayor's Economic Council and as Co-Chair of the Mayor's Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. He funded the Greater Chatham Initiative and has been integrally involved in neighborhood economic development efforts. Robert Wolf is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 32 Advisors in New York City and the Chairman of Measure – Drone as a Service ®, and has served in several advisory capacities to President Obama, including as a member of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness from 20112013, and on the President’s Export Council, starting in 2013. Wolf is also the Vice Chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
“I am pleased to be joining the Board of Directors for the Obama Foundation,” said John W. Rogers, Jr. “It was an honor to be a part of the Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2009, and I feel I am coming full-circle by joining the Foundation. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and I’m looking forward to working with the Foundation to help promote opportunity and bring positive change to Chicago and to the world.”
“I’m honored to be a part of a foundation that will have a significant global impact and serve as an important asset for the city of Chicago,” said Michael J. Sacks. “President Obama is a visionary leader and the Foundation will ensure that his values and the transformational change he has brought will continue to benefit Chicagoans, all Americans and people around the world.”
“I am honored to join the Board of the Obama Foundation and to have the opportunity to continue contributing to the work and the legacy of the President and the First Lady,” said Robert Wolf. “I am confident that the Foundation will work hard to fulfill the President’s mission to inspire the next generation of young leaders all over the world.”
New Board Member Bios
John W. Rogers, Jr. - Board Member
John W. Rogers, Jr. is Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm offers six no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals.
After working for 2½ years as a stockbroker at William Blair & Company, LLC, John founded Ariel Investments in 1983 to focus on undervalued small and medium-sized companies. Patience served as the cornerstone of a disciplined approach that still drives the firm today.
John’s passion for investing started when he was 12 years old when his father bought him stocks, instead of toys, for every birthday and Christmas. His interest grew while majoring in Economics at Princeton University. In addition to following stocks as a college student, John also played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril. He was captain of Princeton’s Varsity Basketball Team his senior year. There, Carril’s courtside lessons on teamwork profoundly shaped his views of entrepreneurship and investing.
Early in his career, John’s investment expertise brought him to the forefront of media attention, including being selected as Co-Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance magazine as well as an All-Star Mutual Fund Manager by USA Today. Furthermore, he has been highlighted alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Ben Graham in the distinguished book: “The World’s 99 Greatest Investors” by Magnus Angenfelt. Today, he is regularly featured and quoted in a wide variety of broadcast and print publications and is a contributing columnist to Forbes.
Beyond Ariel, John currently serves as a board member of Exelon Corporation and McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, he is a trustee of the University of Chicago, a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumni whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, he served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009.
Michael J. Sacks - Board Member
Michael J. Sacks is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based GCM Grosvenor.
Mr. Sacks joined Grosvenor in 1990, and was named the firm’s Managing Partner in 1994. He led the firm’s major growth and development to its current position as a leader in the global alternative investment arena.
In addition to his work at Grosvenor, Mr. Sacks serves as the Vice Chairman of World Business Chicago, as a member of the Mayor's Economic Council and as Co-Chair of the Mayor's Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. Mr. Sacks funded the Greater Chatham Initiative and has been active in neighborhood economic development efforts throughout Chicago.
World Business Chicago is a public private partnership that maintains the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs and works to attract companies and jobs to the city of Chicago.
Mr. Sacks is a Trustee of Northwestern University, of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a member of the board of the Jewish United Fund of Chicago. Additionally, Mr. Sacks is a supporter and board member of several civic, charitable and cultural institutions.
A native of Chicago, Mr. Sacks graduated from Niles West High School in 1980, received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Tulane University in 1984, a general course certificate from the London School of Economics for work completed in the 1982-1983 academic year, a Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1988 and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1988.
Robert Wolf - Board Member
Robert Wolf is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 32 Advisors and the Chairman of Measure – Drone as a Service ®.
Prior to forming 32 Advisors, Robert spent 18 years at UBS, a global financial services firm. There he held several senior positions including Chairman and CEO of UBS Americas and President and Chief Operating Officer of the Investment Bank. He joined UBS in 1994 after spending approximately 10 years at Salomon Brothers
In addition to his role at 32 Advisors, Robert was appointed a member of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness from 20112013, a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board from 20092011 and was on the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Border Infrastructure Task Force in 2012. In June 2013, the White House appointed Robert to the President’s Export Council.
Robert serves on the Undergraduate Executive Board of the Wharton School, on the Athletics Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania and as Vice Chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. Robert also sits on the board of the Partnership for NYC, the Leadership Council for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate member of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. From 2002 to 2013, Robert was on the board of trustees of the Children's Aid Society and on the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Roundtable from 2007 to 2010. Robert hosted the show "Impact Players" on the Reuters Channel on YouTube TV from September 2012 to April 2013. He was named to Worth Magazine's 100 Most Powerful People in Finance in October 2013. Robert recently joined the Advisory Board of Fox’s new show Wall Street Week.
Robert is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a B.S. in Economics. While at UPenn, he played on the varsity football team that won IVY League Championships in both the 1982 and 1983 seasons and was an honoree into the Ivy Football Association in 2013. In May 2014, Robert received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Wharton School.
Robert grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts and is in the town's Athletics Hall of Fame. His wife, Carol, is a corporate attorney who is currently the Senior Development Manager at Sandy Hook Promise. They have 2 children and reside in Purchase, New York.
For more information about the Foundation and the future Obama Presidential Library, visit http://www.obama.org/ or follow @ObamaFoundation on Twitter.