Robert Herman, Ph.D.
Arts and Culture
Robert (Bob) Herman, Ph.D., has a long professional history in economics, public policy and public administration. He began his career in 1950s as Assistant Director of New York State Division of the Budget, and went on to serve as Director of Planning and Development and Director of Research and Fiscal Policy. He’s been a consultant to the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, Special Advisor to the Speaker of the Assembly, the Director of Higher Education of the New York State Joint Legislative Committee on Education, and spent almost 20 years as the Director of the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research.
His international experience and expertise is also extensive. He’s been an advisor to the governments of India and Greece; advisor on economic development to Nigeria, Venezuela, Turkey and Iran; and a consultant to the finance ministers of Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Numerous students have benefited from Bob’s extensive experience as well. He has taught courses at Russell Sage College, Syracuse University and SUNY and he’s an Adjunct Professor of Economics at City University of New York, SUNY, and Union College. He’s a sought after speaker, a published author, a poet, and a humorist.
However, there is more. It is not for these many accomplishments that Bob is receiving a 3rd Age Achievement Award, because in addition to his professional and academic roles, he has also made an impact in the local arts community, and in the lives of people around the world. During his busy career, Bob found time to serve on the boards of many local arts and civic organizations including SPAC, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany International Center, Institute on Man and Science, and Traveler’s Aid Society.
However, the most surprising endeavor of them all is his most recent. Although this 89-year-old resident of Slingerlands has never been to China, and does not speak the language, he has become the author of an immensely popular advice column published in two monthly Chinese magazines with thousands of readers. Bob writes from his home computer, talking to his young readers about life, learning and laughter. Since it all began in 2002, Bob and his columns have become so popular that they have been turned into a book, Wit and Wisdom with Bob.
This literary adventure began over a ping pong table in California. Bob’s opponent was the editor of a popular Chinese-English magazine, English Salon. She had read some of Robert’s poetry, and asked him to write a column about his philosophy of life. Now, he has a devoted following and often receive emails from readers, thanking him and asking for advice. He writes in a straightforward, direct style, and focuses on these concepts; learn, laugh, enjoy and share. He doesn’t write about politics or religion, and he’s never been censored or edited. His wife of 62 years, Beatrice, lends an occasional female perspective to Bob’s work.
Bob himself is amazed at the success he’s had; an advice columnist in a country he’s never seen within a culture he has not experienced. It’s a testimony to the relevance of his philosophy, his humor and his positive outlook on life.