PDG NEWS

With more than 40 years of experience, Bob J. Nash is a veteran public servant

He has held a range of impressive roles ranging from serving as a senior aide in economic development and finance; Undersecretary for Rural and Community Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House; Vice Chairman of ShoreBank Corporation; and Vice President of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

The Texarkana, Arkansas, native is a proud product of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a master’s degree in urban studies from Howard University. His foray into public service began with a stint as a volunteer activist and community organizer in the U.S. Model Cities program which led to a full-time position as an employment counselor/placement officer for the Arkansas State Employment Service in his hometown of Texarkana.

Nash’s professional journey has been impacted by several powerful mentors and influences who stoked his public service interests. “[UAPB] Professor Henry Wilkins encouraged me to get involved in local political campaigns in Arkansas, and I was fortunate to work for three southern governors: David Pryor, Dale Bumpers and Bill Clinton.”

It was the man who would become the nation’s 42nd President, however, whom Nash credits with having had “the most profound” impact upon his career. “He selected me to manage major state and federal programs, which was not traditional in the pre-Clinton Administration state government.” Nash’s work in economic development, housing finance and comprehensive planning obviously made an impression because when Clinton was elevated to the world’s most powerful position, he appointed his fellow Arkansan to serve first as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development and later as Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel.

Working in the White House produced many memorable experiences for Nash who managed the hiring of most Clinton appointees from 1996-2000. He not only remembers that time for its special historical significance but also for the meaningful legacy he helped cement for the Clinton Administration. “We calculated that we recruited and appointed the most diverse administration in the history of the United States.”

These days, Nash takes equal pride in the contributions he is able to make as a PDG senior advisor for business development. “I enjoy working with such smart and hardworking advisors who are all seeking to provide tangible results for their clients, working to make the world better.”

When not offering sage advice to a new generation of civic, nonprofit and business leaders, Nash keeps busy counseling corporate, nonprofit and political clients. And in his leisure time, he admits to getting his hands dirty cultivating clients of the horticultural sort in the form of his flower and vegetable gardens.

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