Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago as the eighth of nine children, Robert Roche learned the importance of community and civic responsibility. His father held public office in the community, and his parents instilled the values of public service, community involvement, and philanthropy.
Today, Roche’s impressive record of dedicated public service continues on the local, national, and international levels. He has served as a civic and business representative for the U.S. in Japan and China, and participated as a donor and advisor to many non-profit organizations that promote international cooperation and education. In 2010, President Obama named him to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, a committee he served on until 2014.
From 2009 through 2011, Roche served on the steering committee and board of directors for the USA National Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. In 2010, he was appointed chairman of Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA), and from 2012 to 2015, he was an advisory council member for the U.S.-China Strong Foundation, an organization that works to strengthen U.S.-China relations by providing study abroad, language-learning and other opportunities for American students and young professionals. He was a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Public Diplomacy Network from 2009 through 2012, and currently serves on the boards of The Center for a New American Security and the Center for American Progress, a leading American think tank.
Roche co-founded the American Business Community Nagoya (ABCN), which later became the Chubu Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce Japan (ACCJ). He also served as the Chairman and on the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He co-founded the Business Forward Foundation, an organization that helps business leaders work with policymakers and advisors to achieve greater economic growth and job creation. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nagoya International School and the Shanghai American School in China.
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