Fred Hochberg

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Fred Hochberg
Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank
In office
May 27, 2009 – January 17, 2017
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Lambright
Succeeded by Charles J. Hall (acting)
Personal details
Born (1952-02-03) February 3, 1952 (age 65)[1][2]
Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater New York University
Columbia University

Fred Philip Hochberg (born February 3, 1952) is an American businessman and civic leader. After nearly two decades as an executive at the Lillian Vernon Corporation, he served in various leadership roles at U.S. government agencies, non-profit organizations, and in academia. From 2009 to 2017, he was Chairman and President of the Export–Import Bank of the United States, becoming the institution's longest-serving Chairman.[3] He was initially appointed in January 2009 and confirmed in May 2009. He was re-nominated in March 2013[4] and reconfirmed in June 2013.[5] He was a fundraiser for the campaign of Barack Obama for President and served as a member of the Presidential transition of Barack Obama. He previously served as dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School[6] and as acting administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the Clinton Administration.[7] Hochberg was one of the highest-ranking LGBT officials in the Obama Administration[8] and has been active for decades in LGBT causes, serving as co-Chair of the Board of the Human Rights Campaign,[9] the largest LGBT civil rights advocacy organization in the United States.

Early life[edit]

Hochberg was born on February 3, 1952.[1] He is the first son of Lillian Vernon (born Lilli Menasche) and Samuel Hochberg.[1][10] Lillian and Hochberg's father fled Germany in 1933, eventually emigrating to New York City in 1937. He was named after his uncle,[11] Siegfried Menasche, who was drafted into the U.S. Army and died during the invasion of Normandy.[1][12] Lillian and Samuel had a second son, David Hochberg, in October 1956. The couple divorced in 1969.[1] Hochberg received his B.A. from New York University and an MBA from Columbia.[13]

Business career[edit]

Hochberg began his business career at the Lillian Vernon Corporation, the company founded by his mother. As president and chief operating officer, where he led the transformation of a small, family-owned mail order company into an international, publicly traded direct marketing corporation. The company listed on the American Stock Exchange in 1987[14] and Forbes described the company's growth as "one of the great success stories of American entrepreneurship."[7] Hochberg helped oversee a nearly 40-fold increase in annual revenue, from $5 million in 1975 to nearly $200 million in 1993.[15]

Fred Hochberg tours U.S. exports in Brazil
Hochberg tours a Brazilian landfill gas-to-energy plant constructed with U.S. equipment in 2014

Political and academic career[edit]

In 1998 Hochberg became deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), later becoming the organization's acting administrator. He remained in the post at the SBA until January 2001, serving also on US President Bill Clinton's Management Council.[16][17] At the SBA, Hochberg helped to lead aggressive outreach to minority, women, and gay and lesbian-owned businesses across the nation.[9]

Following his years in the Clinton administration, he was in December 2003 appointed Dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy,[9] a post he left in late 2008.

Hochberg was a bundler of contributions for the Obama campaign; some bundlers collected $500,000 for the campaign.[18] Hochberg was an Agency Review team leader for the SBA on then-President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.[16]

President Obama formally nominated Hochberg to be Chairman and President of the [[Export-Import Bank on April 20, 2009. The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on May 14, 2009, for a term ending on January 20, 2013. He was sworn in on May 21, 2009. During his tenure, the agency supported more than 1.4 million American jobs and financed exports with a value exceeding $240 billion, while generating $3.8 billion in profits for U.S. taxpayers and reducing internal agency costs by 30 percent. Under Hochberg, the Bank also increased its focus on customers, particularly America’s small business exporters, and in several years during his tenure, nearly 90 percent of EXIM Bank authorizations directly supported small businesses. He streamlined processes, cutting transactions times so that 98% of transactions were processed within 100 days.[19]

Hochberg talks with reporters at the State Department's Foreign Press Center at the UN Mission

LGBT Activism[edit]

Heochberg has served as chair of the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent lesbian and gay rights group. In the April 2007 issue of Out Magazine he was ranked the 15th most powerful gay person in America.[20] He lives with his partner, the writer Tom Healy.[21] Hochberg is also a founder of the Bohnett Leaders Fellowship,[22] an annual program for state and local elected officials operated by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Corporate and non-profit boards[edit]

Hochberg has been dedicated to public policy, community service and philanthropic involvement in expanding access to capital, civil rights, education and the arts. He recently has been a member of the boards of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,[23] New York City's Citizens Budget Commission,[24] FINCA International, and Seedco, a company that provides financial, technical, and management support to nonprofits and small businesses in disadvantaged communities. He was also, in 2008, a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[25]

He has also served on the boards of Playwrights Horizon and the Wolfsonian Art Museum, and on the Democratic National Committee.[13] He also served as member of the Board of Fusion Telecommunications International, Inc.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Hochberg is a native of the greater New York metropolitan area. He lives with his partner, the writer Tom Healy,[26] in Miami Beach, Florida.

Selected writings[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Mehnert, Ute (December 21, 2015). "Lillian Vernon (1927-2015)". Immigrant Entrepreneurship. German Historical Institute. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ Vernon, Lillian (October 1996). An Eye for Winners: How I Built One of America's Greatest Direct-Mail Businesses. HarperCollins. p. 54. ISBN 9780887308185. 
  3. ^ "Statement by Ranking Member Maxine Waters on the Resignation of Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg". Financial Services Committee Democrats. January 19, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ "- NOMINATION OF FRED P. HOCHBERG". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  5. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (2013-07-17). "Hochberg confirmed for Import-Export Bank; Perez clears hurdle for Labor post". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-12-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Hochberg named dean of New School's Milano School". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Fred P. Hochberg profile". Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  8. ^, The Washington Times. "Obama has appointed most U.S. gay officials". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "Hochberg Becomes New School Dean". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  10. ^ Arnold, Laurence (December 14, 2015). "Lillian Vernon, who created mail-order catalog business, dies at 88". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  11. ^ Hochberg, Fred (December 22, 2015). "On the Passing of My Mother, Lillian Vernon". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  12. ^ Witchel, Alex (January 16, 1997). "Sometimes a Great Notion". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Hochberg named dean of New School's Milano School". The Villager. December 17–23, 2003. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  14. ^ "About Us - Lillian Vernon". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Lillian Vernon Corp. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Lillian Vernon Corp". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Andy Birkey, Obama transition includes LGBT community. Minnesota Independent, December 16, 2008.
  17. ^ "Obama-Biden Transition: Agency Review Teams". Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Who Made the Cut at the State Dinner?", by Nadia Taha, "The Caucus" blog, The New York Times, May 20, 2010, 12:47 am. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Oxfield, Jesse, Idov, Michael (March 4, 2007), ‘Out’ Ranks the Top 50 Gays; Anderson Is No. 2 Archived June 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., New York Magazine. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  21. ^ Ellis, David H. (May 28 – June 3, 2004). "Healy named new leader of Downtown cultural group". Downtown Express. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  22. ^ mthomas. "Bohnett Leaders Fellowship - Victory Institute". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Woodrow Wilson Center". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Press Release Article - Port Authority of NY & NJ". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Healy named new leader of Downtown cultural group". Retrieved July 24, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
James Lambright
Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank