Born and raised in Orange County, Robert has grown up living, working and going to school in Southern California. Presently, Robert is a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Jefferies, an international brokerage and investment banking firm. Previously, Robert was General Counsel of BeXcom Research, an Internet B2B E-Commerce provider, and began his legal career at the law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in Los Angeles, California.
Robert received his BA in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University where he graduated as the Most Outstanding Political Science Student and was later inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame. He then went to Pepperdine Law School, where he graduated Valedictorian and received American Jurisprudence Awards (the highest single grade in a class) in Corporations, Real Property, Wills & Trusts, Real Estate Finance, Torts and Criminal Procedure. While at Pepperdine, Robert helped to form the first Republican Law Students Association on campus, and became its President.
During law school, Robert was fortunate to be able to do an externship for Justice Armand Arabian at the California Supreme Court, where he assisted in evaluating which cases the court would review and co-authored an article with Justice Arabian. Later, Robert also served as a research assistant for then United States Solicitor General Kenneth Starr. Just after law school, Robert also served as a law clerk for Judge Lance Ito during the OJ Simpson trial.
Robert and his wife Susie first met at Southern California Christian High School in Anaheim, California and were married just after graduating from college together. They have been married for 21 years and have four children, Jonathan, Katie, Wesley and Grant.
First elected to the Laguna Niguel City Council in 2006, Robert was re-elected in 2010 and is currently its Mayor. For six years, Robert was Co-Chair of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee and is the founding President of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Foundation.
Working to find solutions for county-wide problems has long been a passion for Robert. He was Founding President of the Association of California Cities-Orange County and currently serves as Pension Reform Committee Chair for the ACC-OC. Robert has previously chaired ACC’s Legislative Committee and Economic Development and Jobs Creation committee. Previously, Robert served as President of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities, Chair of the Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee of the League, and a Director of the Orange County Vector Control District. He is presently the representative of Laguna Niguel on the Board for the 73 Toll Road.
Robert is currently Chairman of the Board of Stoneybrooke Christian Schools, and Vice President of the South Orange County Republican Assembly. Previously, Robert was Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, served on its Board of Directors, and received its Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006.
Robert has previously served as a member of the Laguna Niguel Planning Commission, the Board of Managers of the South Coast YMCA, Saddleback Community College Foundation and for the past ten years, has served on the Board of Directors of The Bonner Institute for the Advancement of Choral Music, a California non-profit organization he helped form. For four years, he served on the Board of Directors of the Hillcrest Village Homes Community Association. Robert is also a past President of the Laguna Niguel Lion’s Club, and recipient of the Lion of the Year Award in 2005-06. Robert is also a past President of the Laguna Niguel Rotary Club and has served on its Board of Directors. In 2006, Robert helped found Citizens Who Vote, a coalition of concerned voters who sponsored the Voter ID Act, a state ballot initiative that would have required voters to present photo ID at the polls when they vote.
Robert’s service for Jefferies presently includes protecting the firm’s intellectual property interests and electronic trading platforms, advising traders on various legal and compliance matters, managing the firm’s vendor contract database and reviewing vendor, marketing and advertising agreements for Jefferies’ affiliated companies.
In his free time, Robert has been a Y-Indian Guide and Indian Princess Chief, AYSO Soccer Referee, and a church music director.