John Hope Bryant
On February 1st, 2009, in the midst of the worst global economic crisis in recent history, thought leader John Hope Bryant was chosen to speak at the closing session for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, joining Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, on the subject of "dignity for all." In early 2008, Bryant's silver rights advocacy inspired the U.S. government to make financial literacy the policy of the U.S. federal government for the first time in our nation's history. John Hope Bryant is a philanthropic entrepreneur and businessman, in the business of empowerment. This includes Mr. Bryant's non-profit work throughout the United States, through Operation HOPE, his global non-profit work led by HOPE Global Initiatives, his vast work in public policy, and his increasing portfolio in "thought leadership." On January 22nd, 2008, Mr. Bryant was appointed by then President George W. Bush as vice-chairman of the bi-partisan U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Vice chairman until January, 2010, Mr. Bryant proudly now serves the historic presidency of the Honorable Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States. In this role Mr. Bryant also serves as chairman of the Under-Served Committee for the U.S. President's Council. Seeing this crisis in global dimensions, Mr. Bryant also serves on the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum, as an advisor on financial literacy and financial empowerment. Mr. Bryant is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, America's first non-profit social investment banking organization, now operating in 68 U.S. communities and South Africa, having raised more than $500 million from the private sector to empower the poor. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton described Mr. Bryant in his recent bestselling book GIVING saying, "John Bryant is a 41 year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with 'a hand up and not a hand out.'" A national community leader cited by the past four sitting U.S. presidents for his work to empower low-wealth communities across America, and an active advisor to the past two U.S. presidents, John Hope Bryant is one of the most authoritative and compelling advocates for poverty eradication in America today.