Michael R. Bloomberg
Doctor of Laws
Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City whose innovations in government and philanthropy have made him a global leader on climate change, public health, education and other critical issues facing America and the world.
The technology company he founded in 1981 and now leads, Bloomberg LP, employs nearly 20,000 people in 120 countries.
Mr. Bloomberg was elected mayor just weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and under his leadership, New York City rebounded faster and stronger than expected. His administration raised high school graduation rates by 40 percent, cut crime by a third and reduced the city’s carbon footprint by 14 percent. His economic policies, which supported entrepreneurs, small businesses and emerging industries such as tech and bioscience, helped to create a record 400,000 new jobs. His administration invested more than $3 billion in the arts and cultural organizations, making New York City the largest funder of the arts in the country.
He has been strongly committed to philanthropy throughout his career. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, employs a unique data-driven approach to its five main focus areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts and government innovation. He has given away $6.4 billion.
Mr. Bloomberg leads a number of efforts to address urgent national and international issues, including climate change, gun safety, immigration reform and infrastructure investment.
He serves as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, charged with galvanizing the efforts of governments, businesses and civil society to fight climate change. He created “America’s Pledge,” a coalition of thousands of mayors, governors and business leaders committed to cutting carbon emissions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Beyond Coal campaign he formed with the Sierra Club and other partners has retired more than half of all U.S. coal plants since 2011, moving the country toward cleaner, cheaper energy. He is co-author, with Carl Pope, of The New York Times bestseller Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet.
He is also the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, and his foundation works on life-saving initiatives to improve maternal and reproductive health, increase global road safety, prevent drowning deaths and more. His efforts to reduce tobacco use have saved more than 35 million lives since 2007.
This year, Mr. Bloomberg is giving $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University — the largest gift in the history of American higher education — to be used for student financial aid. The gift allows the school to permanently accept and enroll students without regard to their ability to pay.
He also formed the American Talent Initiative, a coalition of more than 100 top colleges, including Washington University, committed to enrolling more talented, lower-income students. In addition, Mr. Bloomberg supports efforts around the country to expand and improve career and technical training programs in high schools.
As mayor, he was generous with his time when Washington University’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy students met with him while on trips to New York City in 2008 and 2010 and toured Bloomberg headquarters and Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence.
Born in Boston and raised in Medford, Massachusetts, he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, where he paid his tuition by taking out loans and working as a parking lot attendant.
He went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School and began his career as a clerk for the Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers & Hutzler.
After being let go from the firm in 1981, Mr. Bloomberg started a company to computerize financial data and provide investment professionals with real-time market information and analysis. The computer system he invented, which became known as the Bloomberg Terminal, revolutionized the investment industry and leveled the playing field for smaller firms, bringing greater transparency and efficiency to financial markets.
Today he is recognized as one of the pioneers of the computer age and one of the world’s most innovative leaders in business, philanthropy and public affairs.
Mr. Bloomberg, who lives in New York City, is the father of two daughters, Emma and Georgina, and has two grandchildren.