Tom A. Bernstein is president and co-founder of Chelsea Piers, L.P., which was formed in 1992 to develop and operate the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex. The Chelsea Piers is a 30-acre (120,000 m2) waterfront sports village located between 17th and 23rd Streets along Manhattan’s Hudson River. This $100 million, privately financed project has transformed four historic, but long-neglected, piers into a major center for sports and recreation, with over 4 million visitors each year.
From 1983 to 1998, Bernstein was one of the two principals of Silver Screen Management, Inc., and the affiliated Silver Screen companies, which served as the managing general partners of the Silver Screen partnerships. These partnerships raised approximately $1 billion from 140,000 investors to finance films produced by The Walt Disney Company and Home Box Office, Inc. The 75 films financed by the Silver Screen partnerships include such box office successes as Beauty and the Beast (1991 film), Pretty Woman, The Little Mermaid (1989 film) and Three Men and a Baby. In 1984, Bernstein produced the motion picture Sakharov, which starred Glenda Jackson and Jason Robards, for Home Box Office Inc. The film was the most honored show at the Seventh Annual Awards for Cable Excellence, winning four major awards including Best Movie or Miniseries.
From 1989 to 1998, Bernstein was one of the principal owners of the Texas Rangers (baseball) Baseball Club with the ownership group led by George W. Bush, who later went on to become the president of the United States.
Bernstein has been actively involved in a number of pro bono activities. He is vice-chair of Human Rights First, an organization founded in 1978 by Michael Posner (lawyer). A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is a board member of several other non-profit organizations, including WNYC Radio (New York's public radio stations), Fresh Air Fund, Partnership for Public Service, City Year New York and the Center for Civil and Human Rights (in Atlanta, Georgia). Bernstein also served as a member of the transition team of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In 2002, Bernstein was appointed by President Bush to serve as a Council Member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where he now serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as chair of the Committee on Conscience. Bernstein was a major fundraiser for the former president's two election campaigns.
From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Bernstein was co-founder and chairman of the International Freedom Center, a cultural institution developed for the World Trade cite as an educational complement to the World Trade Center Memorial.
From 1978 to 1983, Bernstein was an attorney with the entertainment department of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York. He served as a law clerk from 1977-1978 for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein in Federal District Court in New York. Bernstein graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and now serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
- Human Rights First Website
- Chelsea Piers Website
- International Freedom Center Website
- Debra Burlingame's WSJ Op-Ed Opposing the IFC, June 8, 2005
- Richard Tofel's WSJ Op-Ed Supporting the IFC, June 9, 2005
- Westchester Housewife, WSJ Story on Debra Burlingame and the struggle over the IFC (referring to Tom Bernstein), October 1, 2005