Robert Weissman

President

Robert Weissman is a staunch public interest advocate and activist, as well as an expert on a wide variety of issues ranging from corporate accountability and government transparency, to trade and globalization, to economic and regulatory policy.

Leading Public Citizen since 2009, Weissman has spearheaded the effort to loosen the chokehold corporations and the wealthy have over our democracy. Since 2010, two U.S. Supreme Court rulings opened the floodgates to unlimited election spending by corporations and the wealthy. Weissman has been outspoken about what these rulings mean to Americans and how We the People can fight to restore our democracy. Immediately after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, Weissman established the Democracy Is For People campaign, a project of Public Citizen, specifically to fight for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling and curb money in politics. In just a few years, support for amending the Constitution has blossomed.

Weissman also has been a strong voice in the fight against the Wall Street greed and recklessness that caused the global financial crisis and recession. After the 2008 financial collapse, Weissman pushed for strong legislation and regulatory action, specifically through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to stabilize the financial system, hold corporations and big banks accountable and help Main Street.

In 2010, Weissman led the charge to hold corporate oil giant BP responsible for the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and set off the worst corporate-made ecological disaster in our nation’s history. Through a rigorous campaign, headed by Weissman and Public Citizen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned BP from obtaining federal contacts during a probation period. Over the years, Weissman has pushed Congress to pass meaningful legislation to hold the oil industry accountable, reform the regulatory process, and protect workers and the environment.

Weissman also has expanded Public Citizen’s work to curb climate change and push for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system. He is an expert in intellectual property issues associated with drug patents.

With a wide variety of expertise, Weissman has used his knowledge and skill to challenge abusive corporate practices in many different arenas with the common goal of protecting consumers and fighting for a government that works for the people.

Background:

  • President of Public Citizen (Sept. 8, 2009-present)

  • Director of the corporate accountability organization Essential Action (1995-2009)

  • Editor of the Multinational Monitor, a magazine that tracks multinational corporations (1989-2009)

  • Helped make HIV drugs available to the developing world and has provided assistance to numerous governments on intellectual property and access to medicine issues

  • Public interest attorney at Center for Study of Responsive Law (1996-2009)

  • Member of the Ohio bar

  • Earned J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude

Media Appearances:

Weissman has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, CNBC, NPR and Marketplace Radio, and has been published and quoted in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Time Magazine.