Robert F. Bennett is a BPC senior fellow. Bennett currently resides in Washington, D.C., where he served as a U.S. senator for 18 years. A Washington figure for decades, his advice is sought and relied upon by U.S. Presidents, Cabinet officials, and members of Congress.
He is highly regarded as a pragmatic problem-solver and has established himself as a powerful consensus builder among colleagues, constituents, and clients. His contributions have been both creative and based in common sense. One of his colleagues praised him as being "the smartest man in the Senate."
Bennett served as the senior member of both the Senate Banking Committee and the Joint Economic Committee. As such, he has been an active participant in forming national economic policy over the course of several years.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Bennett worked to balance fiscal discipline in government with the needs of maintaining a vital national economy. He understands government spending and is intimately familiar with the process that makes it happen.
Bennett is a highly successful entrepreneur. Prior to his senate career, he served as the CEO of Franklin Quest, Inc. (NYSE) where he was a founding shareholder. One of his great passions has been the process of growing new opportunities into mature and developed business enterprises. He has been a key participant in multiple private and publicly held companies. He sees clearly the inter-dependence of private enterprise and an expanding national economy.
Throughout his career, Bennett has been praised for two innate qualities—his intellect and his integrity. Former President Bill Clinton described him as "a highly intelligent old-fashioned conservative," while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid praised him by saying, "there is no more honorable member of this body than Bob Bennett."