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Bob was raised in Western New York. He earned money for college by working as a pipefitter apprentice and attended SUNY Geneseo in the early 1970s.
While in Geneseo, Bob learned of the work of the Geneseo Migrant Center and first became aware of rumors of modern slavery in the U.S. migrant stream.
After graduation with a B.A. in Anthropology, Bob engaged in direct social services as a street gang social worker in Buffalo, NY. Bob then received a M.S.W., with a concentration in management, planning, and community organizing, from SUNY Buffalo, and worked for local community organizations and for the Buffalo Common Council.
Compelled by his interest in human rights, Bob attended New York Law School, where he studied international law and international human rights with Professors Myres McDougal and Lung-chu Chen.
For many years thereafter, Bob worked in private practice in NYC as a commercial litigator.
During the 1980s and 1990s Bob served as a member and Chair of the NYS Bar Association, International Law and Practice Section, Committee on International Human Rights, and as a member of the NYC Bar Association, Committee on International Human Rights. While with the NYC Bar Committee, Bob did research about and advocated to the Committee that it draw its attention to the then almost unknown issue of modern slavery.
Early in the 21st century, Bob became the Pro Bono partner at Lowenstein Sandler. While at Lowenstein, Bob helped to establish a relationship between that firm and Free the Slaves, which continues to this day. Bob became a Board member and Chair of the Board of Free the Slaves. He left the Board in December of 2012 at the end of his 6 year term.
In 2013, Bob rejoined Free the Slaves, and. through 2015, he worked as Counsel and Senior Advisor to that organization. In that role he focused on the eradication of slavery and slave-made goods, products, and materials from international supply chain. To that end, Bob helped develop and coordinate, the 2015 conference in NYC on Slavery, Law and International Supply Chains.
From 2010 through 2015, Bob served as a Board member and as President of the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation. In 2015, Bob helped to develop an Overture for the Presbyterian Church (USA) that asked the Church and its congregations to address the issues of slavery in the supply chains of their vendors and entities in which they might invest. The General Assembly of the PC (USA) adopted that Overture at its 2016 meeting.
In 2016, in addition to working as The Last Abolitionist, Bob helped to establish the Slave -Free Community Project, a grassroots-based organization that seeks to eradicate all the effects of modern slavery from the New Jersey communities of South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, and Short Hills.
Bob also serves on the Steering Committee and as Chair of the Slave-Free Commerce Committee of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
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