While in China last week it dawned on me that my life is really all about empowerment. This was significant, to me at least, inasmuch as for 16 years now (since the founding of Operation HOPE, etc) I have had a real problem actually explaining what it is I do (smile). And so, here it is; "what I am about…"
I am in the business of empowerment. My four pillars of empowerment are:
Domestic Non-Profit Work
The work of Operation HOPE, working throughout the U.S., on the ground in 68 low-wealth communities across our great nation. Major HOPE portfolios include the award winning financial literacy program, Banking on Our Future, the HOPE Banking Center Network, HOPE Coalition America, HOPE Corps and HOPE Advisors. You can access information on the work of Operation HOPE at www.operationhope.org.
Global Non-Profit Work
My global work is rooted in HOPE Global Initiatives, which I chair, and speaks through Operation HOPE, South Africa, our on-the-ground work in that great country, Global Dignity, my partnership with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, the Forum of Young Global Leaders, the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, and our various commitments through the Clinton Global Initiative. You can get more information on my global non-profit work at www.operationhope.org and www.globaldignity.org.
Public Policy Work
The on-the-ground work of Operation HOPE helped inspire President George W. Bush to make financial literacy the policy of the U.S. federal government earlier this year. On January 22nd, 2008, President Bush signed an Executive Order which also created the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Financial guru Charles Schwab serves as chairman and I serve as vice chairman for the Council. I also serve as chairman of the Committee on the Under-Served. Our mandate includes making recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury and the President with respect to national financial literacy policy. The Council is bi-partisan and we will serve two sitting U.S. presidents until 2010. You can access information on the work of the Council at http://www.treasury.gov/offices/domestic-finance/financial-institution/fin-education/council/index.shtml.
Thought Leadership Work
Increasingly I have been fortunate enough to be called upon for a variety of what I call "thought leadership" oriented work and counsel, including writing books (such as the leadership book I am currently writing for Wiley Publishing and Jossey-Bass), giving speeches domestically and around the world, and providing strategic counsel to CEOs, leaders and heads of state. A website from Bryant Group Companies, Inc., and Bryant Speaks, will be announced publicly soon. Stay tuned.