Fred Hochberg

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Fred Hochberg
Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank
In office
May 27, 2009 – January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
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 politician. He has played leadership roles in government, non-profit, and academic organizations. He was chairman and president of the Export–Import Bank of the United States under President Barack Obama, having been appointed in January 2009, confirmed in May 2009,[3] and reconfirmed in June 2013.[4] He was a fundraiser for the campaign of Barack Obama for President and a member of the Obama transition team. He has also contributed opinion pieces and commentaries to a number of news outlets. He previously served as acting administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the Clinton Administration.[5]

Early life and academic career[edit]

Hochberg was born on February 3, 1952.[1] He is the first son of Lillian Vernon (born Lilli Menasche) and Samuel Hochberg.[1][6] He was named after his uncle,[7] Fred Menasche, who was killed in the invasion of Normandy.[1][8] 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[9] before attending the executive leadership program of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 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.[10]

Business career[edit]

Hochberg began his business career managing his mother's mail order business, the Lillian Vernon Corporation, which he developed over the next 20 years into a publicly traded direct marketing corporation described by Forbes as "one of the great success stories of American entrepreneurship."[5] He is listed as of 2008 as a director of Fusion Telecommunications International, Incorporated,[5]

Hochberg has been dedicated to community service and philanthropic involvement in civil rights, education and the arts. He recently sat on the boards of the Citizens' Budget Commission, FINCA International (an international lending institution) and Seedco, a company that provides financial, technical, and management support to nonprofits and small businesses in disadvantaged communities.[9] He was also, in 2008, a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[11]

Political 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.[12][13]

Hochberg was a bundler of contributions for the Obama campaign; some bundlers collected $500,000 for the campaign.[14]

Hochberg was an Agency Review team leader for the SBA on then-President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.[12]

President Obama formally nominated Hochberg to be Chairman and President of EXIM 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.

Press reports had suggested Hochberg might be chosen as Obama's Secretary of Commerce, becoming the first openly LBGT member of the US Cabinet,[15] but ABC News reported on January 9, 2009 that Hochberg would instead be appointed chair of the Export-Import Bank, which finances the sale of US exports.[3][16] As head of EXIM Bank, Hochberg was the most senior openly gay member of the Obama Administration.

Personal life[edit]

Hochberg is a native of the greater New York metropolitan area. He 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.[17] He lives with his partner, the writer Tom Healy.[18]

He has also served on the boards of Playwrights Horizon and the Wolfsonian Art Museum, and on the Democratic National Committee.[9]


  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. ^ a b "Fred Hochberg to Be Named Head of Export-Import Bank". The Advocate. January 10, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b c "Fred P. Hochberg profile". Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  6. ^ Arnold, Laurence (December 14, 2015). "Lillian Vernon, who created mail-order catalog business, dies at 88". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  7. ^ Hochberg, Fred (December 22, 2015). "On the Passing of My Mother, Lillian Vernon". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  8. ^ Witchel, Alex (January 16, 1997). "Sometimes a Great Notion". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Hochberg named dean of New School's Milano School". The Villager. December 17–23, 2003. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Chris (December 8, 2008). "Obama considers more gays for administration". Washington Blade. Retrieved December 18, 2008. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Economics and international trade team leads". Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  12. ^ a b Andy Birkey, Obama transition includes LGBT community. Minnesota Independent, December 16, 2008.
  13. ^ "Obama-Biden Transition: Agency Review Teams". Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ Rhee, Foon (January 5, 2009). "Gay rights group advocates for commerce pick". Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Obama to name Hochberg chair of Export-Import Bank". January 9, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2008.  External link in |work= (help)
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Ellis, David H. (May 28 – June 3, 2004). "Healy named new leader of Downtown cultural group". Downtown Express. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 

External links[edit]

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