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Robert F. Smith

Founder, chair & CEO


Robert F. Smith is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. A former chemical engineer and investment banker, he is the founder, chairman, and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. He’s the board chair of Carnegie Hall (the first African American to hold that position), the founding director and president of the Fund II Foundation, and chair of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization; he serves on the board of overseers of Columbia Business School and is a Trustee of the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco.

“When you invest in people, you get greater output. That’s what I call the liberation of the spirit.”

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