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Robert G. Ottenhoff

Special Advisor to the President and CEO

Robert G. Ottenhoff is a veteran leader and expert in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and media.

He was the founder and served as the inaugural General Manager of WBGO-FM from 1977 to 1987. He took a brief leave of absence while at WBGO-FM to act as Senior Vice President for Representation at National Public Radio (NPR).

After leaving WBGO, he was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, which operated four public television stations and a statewide radio network. He was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 1992 to 2000. While at PBS he also served as Acting President and Acting Senior Vice President of Programming for nearly one year.

He recently stepped down as the inaugural president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy based in Washington D.C. CDP works with foundations, corporations, and individuals and seeks to transform how donors think about, respond and contribute to natural disasters.

Prior to joining CDP, he spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. He led efforts to develop a “freemium” business model and create a nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.8 million nonprofits.

He holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and was awarded a B.A. from Calvin College in Michigan.

He frequently writes, speaks, and comments on nonprofit and philanthropic issues on television, radio and national newspapers.