Bob Massie (politician)

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Bob Massie
Bob Massie.jpg
Born Robert Kinloch Massie IV
(1956-08-17) August 17, 1956 (age 61)
Education Princeton University (BA)
Yale University (MDiv)
Harvard University (DBA)
Known for Ceres Executive Director; Global Reporting Initiative co-founder
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Tate
Children 3
Parent(s) Robert K. Massie
Suzanne Massie

Robert Kinloch "Bob" Massie IV (born August 17, 1956) is an American activist and author who works on issues of global leadership and corporate accountability, social justice, and climate change. He has created or led several organizations, including Ceres,[1] the Global Reporting Initiative, the Investor Network on Climate Risk, and the New Economy Coalition. His early activism centered on opposition to South Africa's apartheid regime, writing the about the relationship between the US and South Africa in the apartheid era.[2] He is currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination to be governor of Massachusetts.

Education and early career[edit]

Born with severe hemophilia, Massie entered Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude in 1978 with a degree in history. As an officer of his alumni class he established the Class of 1978 Foundation, one of the first university foundations to fund direct summer service for students.[3][4]

While at Princeton he was active in the student movement for Princeton’s divestiture from South Africa,[citation needed] and campaigned for equal access to University dining clubs, many of which did not admit women as members.[citation needed] During this period he also spent three summers and parts of his sophomore year working in the office of U.S. Senator Henry Jackson (D-Washington). He investigated safety in the blood supply system.[citation needed]} Several years later, he learned he had contracted HIV from contaminated blood products.[citation needed]

Massie was one of the very few HIV patients with native resistance to the disease.[citation needed] His immune response was studied by physician Bruce D. Walker[5] at Massachusetts General Hospital and was the subject of a NOVA documentary in 1999.[6]

After graduating from Princeton Massie entered Yale Divinity School, where he concentrated on social and theological ethics, taking a year off to return to Washington to work on issues of corporate responsibility with Public Citizen Congress Watch. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Yale in 1982, and was ordained in the Episcopal Church the following year.

From 1982 to 1984 he worked as an assistant and chaplain at Grace Episcopal Church in New York, co-founding a homeless shelter.

Massie worked on the role of business in shaping public policy on economic, social and environmental issues. Massie entered Harvard Business School in 1984, on a full scholarship. He completed the core of Harvard’s M.B.A. program as a portion of his doctoral studies, and went on to write his dissertation on how large institutions balance organizational objectives with perceived moral obligations. He received a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard in 1989.[7]

While a full-time graduate student he also served as a minister at Christ Episcopal Church, a small congregation in Somerville, Massachusetts. During this period he also edited the Harvard Business School’s weekly newspaper and served on the Ethics Advisory Committee at Boston Children’s Hospital.


From 1989 to 1996 Massie lectured at Harvard Divinity School, and served as Director of the Project on Business Values and the Economy there, and forging ties between the Business and Divinity School communities.

He participated in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School in 1991, and that year was also awarded a Henry Luce Fellowship (1991–1993).[citation needed]

In April 1992, he organized a public meeting on climate change in the Boston area at the Museum of Science, featuring Senator Al Gore as the keynote speaker.[citation needed]

In 1993 Massie received a Senior Fulbright Research Award to spend six months in South Africa, lecturing at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and researching a history of the anti-apartheid Movement. During this trip he met and interviewed South African leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk, and Nelson Mandela.[citation needed] In 1994 he also served as an official international observer during the first democratic elections in South Africa,[citation needed] and was responsible for voting sites throughout the Western Cape. His book Loosing The Bonds: The United States and South Africa In The Apartheid Years was completed over the next four years, and published by Doubleday in 1997. It won the Lionel Gelber Prize for the Best Book on International Relations in 1998 and was reviewed favorably across the United States, including the New York Times.[8]

In 1994 he won the statewide primary election and became the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The Democratic ticket was defeated by incumbent Republican governor Bill Weld.

From 1996 to 2003 Massie served as the Executive Director of Ceres, the largest[citation needed] coalition of environmental groups and institutional investors in the United States, increasing that organization’s size and revenue ten-fold during his tenure.[citation needed]

He also proposed and led the creation of the Investor Network on Climate Risk and the Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk, a gathering of public and private sector financial leaders held every two years at UN Headquarters in New York City.[9] At the most recent meeting of the INCR, global investors and pension funds worth more than $22 trillion explored the financial dangers of climate change and pressed for a tripling of investment in clean energy technology to reach an annual goal of $1 trillion a year.[10]

In 1998, in partnership with the United Nations and major U.S. foundations, he co-founded the Global Reporting Initiative with Dr. Allen White of the Tellus Institute, and served as its Chair until 2002.[citation needed]

Ceres and GRI pursue an approach to corporate responsibility which relies on transparency and reputation incentives. More than two thousand major corporations and institutional investor groups now voluntarily participate in Ceres and GRI corporate disclosure standards.[citation needed] According to the most recent 2017 database, 10,613 organizations have produced 40,155 reports of which 26,675 are GRI reports.[11]

In 2002, Massie was named one of the 100 most influential people in the field of finance by CFO Magazine.[12] In the same year, he learned that he had contracted Hepatitis C from contaminated blood medications used to treat his hemophilia. As a result he resigned from Ceres in order to pursue medical treatment[13] and he received a liver transplant in 2009. During this period, he continued to serve on a number of boards, and was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.[citation needed]

In 2008, while still ill, he founded and co-chaired the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Coalition,[citation needed] and led a campaign against slot machine and casino gambling in Massachusetts.[citation needed] In that year he was awarded the Damyanova Prize for Corporate Social Responsibility[14] by the Institute for Global Leadership[15] at Tufts University, and in April, 2009 he received the Joan Bavaria Innovation and Impact Awards for Building Sustainability in Capital Markets.[16]

In 2010 he became an investment advisor to Domini Social Impact Fund,[citation needed] and a member of the Board of the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2),[citation needed] and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Hauser Center.[citation needed]

In January 2011, Massie declared his candidacy for the United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2012.[17][18] In April 2011, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi joined the Massie campaign.[19] Massie ended his campaign on October 7, citing the entrance of Elizabeth Warren into the race.[20]

In March 2012, Massie became the president of the New Economy Coalition, then called the New Economics Institute,[21] an organization dedicated to moving the American economy towards greater justice and sustainability. He stepped down from being the coalition's president in October 2014.

His autobiography, A Song in the Night: A Memoir of Resilience, was published in 2012 by Nan Talese/Doubleday books.[22]

In 2012, Massie began advising and speaking out for the campaign to divest from Fossil fuels.[citation needed] In May 2014, Massie called on Harvard University to divest its endowment from fossil fuel corporations in an op-ed for The Harvard Crimson.[23] Also, he was still devoting his time to the New Economy Coalition.[24]

In November 2015 Massie was appointed the executive director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab (SSL) at UMass Boston.[citation needed] Created by the deans of the School for the Environment, the College of Management, the College of Liberal Arts, and the John McCormack Graduate School for Policy and Global Studies, SSL was launched to unite Boston area faculty and organizations concerned with social justice and resilience with those who are working on physical resilience against climate change with the premise that money spent to combat the effects of climate change and sea level rise should also benefit communities in need.[citation needed]

Gubernatorial nomination campaign[edit]

On May 16, 2017, Massie began a campaign for the Democratic nomination in the Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2018. He is running on a platform of climate change initiatives, workers' rights and economic equality, and progressive causes.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Massie is the son of historians Robert K. Massie, winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for biography;[26] and Suzanne Massie, who worked in forming the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.[27][28]

Massie was born on August 17, 1956, with severe classic hemophilia. As a result of this, his father, Robert Massie Sr., wrote Nicholas and Alexandra (1967), a biography of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, which was produced as the movie Nicholas and Alexandra four years later. Massie's parents also wrote a more personal account of their son's challenges, titled Journey (Knopf, 1975), of which Time Magazine wrote, "Its portrait of Bobby Massie's enduring courage and the decency and devotion of those who helped him makes Journey a remarkable human document."[29] He suffered from brutally painful joint bleeds and spent much of his childhood in a wheelchair.

The family moved to France in 1968, where Massie’s healthcare was covered by the French government system.[citation needed] He improved there, regained the use of both legs and learned to self-administer injections of clotting factor.[citation needed] The family returned to the US after four years.[citation needed] He managed the illness with regular injections, yet was still plagued by bleedings and regularly used a wheelchair.[citation needed]

In 1984 he was diagnosed with HIV, which he had contracted in 1978, from medical injections. By 1994 he was one of the longest survivors with HIV and offered his case to Dr. Bruce Walker at MGH for review. Extensive study of Massie’s blood has contributed to research and treatment studies around the world. In 1996 and 2002 Massie had surgeries to replace his knee joints, damaged from the repetitive joint bleeds. In late 2002, suffering from persistent exhaustion, he was diagnosed with liver damage from hepatitis C, also contracted through blood products. This illness proved a much more stubborn adversary than the hemophilia and HIV, eventually requiring him to step down from his roles at Ceres and GRI[15]and retire for nearly seven years to wait for a transplant, at that time the only cure.

In June 2009, Massie received a liver transplant, in a “domino transplant” procedure performed at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which cured not only his hepatitis C, but also his hemophilia. (The clotting factor is produced in the liver.)[30][31]

After graduation from Yale he met and married Dana Robert,[32] with whom he had two sons, Sam (born 1987), and John (b. 1989). The couple divorced in 1995. In 1996 Massie married Anne Tate, an architect and professor at Rhode Island School of Design,[33] with whom he has a daughter, Katherine (b. 1998).

Selected publications[edit]

  • Blogs for Harvard Business Review, Murninghan Post, Blue Mass Group, Volans, and many other websites.
  • "Accounting and Accountability," in Robert Eccles et al., The Landscape of Integrated Reporting (Boston: Harvard Business School, 2010)
  • “God’s Restless Servant,” in Befriending Life: Encounters with Henri Nouwen (New York: Doubleday, 2001)
  • “Effective Codes of Conduct: Lessons from the Sullivan and CERES Principles” in Oliver Williams, Ed. Global Codes of Conduct: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (Notre Dame University Press, 2000)
  • Book review of biography of Nelson Mandela, Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 1998
  • Loosing the Bonds: The United States and South Africa in the Apartheid Years (New York: Doubleday, 1998)
  • “Local Churches in the New South Africa,” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, December 1993
  • “Understanding Corruption,” Die Suid-Afrikaan, (the leading liberal Afrikaner magazine, published in Cape Town), August–September 1993
  • “Corporate Democracy and the Legacy of Divestment,” The Christian Century, July 24–31, 1991
  • “From Prophets to Profits,” Manhattan, Inc. (August 1985)
  • “Setting Their Lives in Motion,” New York Times Sunday Magazine, April 1979

Selected addresses and projects[edit]

  • Participation in numerous events related to the formation and development of UN Secretary General’s Global Compact; discussion leader at 2002 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in New York
  • “The Future of Wealth on Earth” – plenary speech to the Local Authorities Pension Fund Forum, Bolton, England, 2001
  • “The Future of Sustainability Reporting,” speech to joint symposium organized by the Japanese Environment Agency, the Global Environmental Forum, the Environmental Auditing Research Group, Tokyo, Japan, November 2000
  • “The Global Reporting Initiative in a South Asian Context,” keynote speech at symposia organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Centre for Science and the Environment, and eight other organizations, Delhi and Mumbai, India, September 2000
  • Testimony on the Global Compact to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, United Nations, July 2000
  • “Christianity and the Environment,” series of talks and sermon (on the book of Jonah) given as part of the Grace Church (NYC) Parish weekend, October 1998
  • “We Become What We Believe,” address to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, February 24, 1998
  • “The Poetry of the Possible,” speech to 1,200 General Motors environmental engineers and plant managers, General Motors World Headquarters, Detroit, September 1997
  • “The Hidden Moral Language of Organizations,” the 1995 William and Rita Bell Lecture in Anglican and Ecumenical Studies, University of Tulsa, October 1995
  • “The Impact of Sanctions on the South African Economy,” series of lectures at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, March–April 1993
  • "Fairness and Forgiveness in the Parables of Jesus,” six part sermon series, Church of All Angels, Twilight Park, New York, summer 1992
  • “The Renewal of Reverence: Theological Education in the Environmental Era,” address to the Boston Theological Institute, Boston Museum of Science, April 1992
  • “Divided Loyalties: Moral Integrity in Complex Organizations” at the annual conference of the Institute for Servant Leadership, Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, North Carolina, October 1991
  • “The Structure of Moral Accountability in Large Organizations,” lecture to the Program in Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship, Tufts University, December 1990
  • “The Implications of Economic Globalization for the Twenty-First Century Church,” Introduction to Theological Education for Ministry, Harvard Divinity School, November 1990


  1. ^ "Boston nonprofit Ceres stresses green effort - Its philosophy: Good environmental policy is good for business". The Boston Globe. 2015-02-01. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  2. ^ "Loosing the Bonds: The United States and South Africa in the Apartheid Years, review by Gail M. Gerhart". Foreign Affairs. 1998-07-01. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  3. ^ "OIP: Princeton Funding". 2011-06-23. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  4. ^ "Princeton University Class of 1978". 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  5. ^ "HHMI Scientist Bio: Bruce D. Walker, M.D". Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  6. ^ "NOVA | Transcripts | Surviving AIDS". PBS. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  7. ^ "June 2002 - Alumni Bulletin - Harvard Business School". 2002-06-01. Retrieved 2017-05-07. 
  8. ^ Wheatcroft, Geoffrey (January 11, 1998). "Loosing the Bonds Book Review in The New York Times". 
  9. ^ Walsh, Bryan (January 15, 2010). "After Copenhagen, Getting Business into Green Tech". Time. 
  10. ^ "Global investors mobilize action in wake of Paris Climate Agreement". United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. January 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ "GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database". Retrieved 2017-05-06. 
  12. ^ "The Global 100: Investors - Cover Story". 2002-06-25. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  13. ^ "CERES Executive Director Bob Massie steps down – Press Releases on". 2003-01-29. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  14. ^ "Damyanova Award to Robert Massie". Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2017-05-09. 
  15. ^ "Institute for Global Leadership". Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  16. ^ "Robert Massie Honored – Twice – for Long String of Achievements in Building a Sustainable Global Economy — Ceres". 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  17. ^ "Broadside: Bob Massie on Senate campaign". 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  18. ^ Loth, Renee (January 16, 2011). "The timely return of Bob Massie". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 5, 2017. 
  19. ^ Goodison, Donna (2011-04-26). "Joe Trippi joins Robert Massie campaign". Retrieved 2017-05-09. 
  20. ^ "Bob Massie drops out of U.S. Senate race". 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-05-09. 
  21. ^ "Bob Massie, President and CEO". New Economics Institute. Archived from the original on 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2017-05-09. 
  22. ^ "A Song In The Night". Random House Inc. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  23. ^ "Even the Bricks Cry Out: It's Time for Harvard to Divest". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ Confino, Jo. "Driving social and environmental justice into the heart of the US economy". The Guardian. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  25. ^ Andersen, Travis (May 17, 2017). "Democrat Robert Massie kicks off campaign to unseat Charlie Baker". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  26. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes". Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  27. ^ Mann, James (2009). The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War. Penguin Group. 
  28. ^ "Agent of Influence". Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Books: Blood Will Tell". Time. May 19, 1975. 
  30. ^ "Transplant Press Release". 
  31. ^ "Transplant TV clip". 
  32. ^ "Dana Robert » Religion and Conflict Transformation » Boston University". 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  33. ^ "Anne Tate; Faculty; Architecture; RISD". Retrieved 2017-05-09. 

External links[edit]