Bob Bellafiore began his career as a journalist and covered New York State government and politics for The Associated Press before joining The Business Council as Communications Director in 1991 and later joining Gov. George Pataki’s staff as his first Press Secretary.
After serving as Gov. Pataki’s spokesman, Bob served in several other senior roles during his eight years in New York State government, including Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Planning, Director of Special Projects and chief speechwriter. Bob was involved at senior levels in Gov. Pataki’s two successful re-election campaigns in 1998 and 2002 and was a senior adviser to U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato’s unsuccessful 1998 re-election effort.
While working for the Governor, Bob was instrumental in development and passage of numerous high-profile policy initiatives, including workers’ compensation reforms, the Charter Schools Act and various economic and criminal justice reforms.
Bob later served as President of the State University of New York’s Charter Schools Institute, where he spearheaded the development of the Institute’s application review and approval process as well as its academic/financial accountability system, and built the Institute staff into a nationally recognized charter authorizer. Bob was a founding board member of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers as well as a board member at the National Charter Schools Institute at Central Michigan University.
From 2005-2010, Bob served as a Trustee of the State University of New York, where he chaired the Board’s Communications and External Affairs Committee. He also served on the Executive Committee and Committees on Community Colleges, Finance and Administration, University Research, and Strategic Planning.
After leaving government, Bob spent nearly eight years leading Eric Mower and Associates’ successful public strategy practice. As Senior Partner, Bob managed the firm’s Albany office and served as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Areas included crisis management, integrated communications, advocacy strategy, grassroots/community support, business strategy and marketing.
Before founding Stanhope Partners in 2012, Bob served as Vice President of Partner Services and Strategic Initiatives for National Heritage Academies, a national charter school management organization, where he was chief development officer and a member of the executive management team.
Bob’s insights into government policy, political strategy and communications are frequently sought by New York and national journalists and his op-eds have been published in The New York Times, the New York Post and the Buffalo News. He appears regularly on YNN’s popular nightly public affairs program “Capital Tonight” and public radio’s “The Capitol Pressroom.”
He lives in Delmar, NY, outside Albany, with his wife and high school aged son. Their elder son is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.