Robert was born, raised, and educated in East Harlem. He attended P.S. 112, River East, Isaac Newton, and Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. He most recently served as Chairman of Community Board 11, representing the neighborhoods of East Harlem. Throughout his work on the community board and in his professional life, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that East Harlem and its surrounding neighborhoods remain affordable for working families and senior citizens. He worked to develop infrastructure in East Harlem that ensures that all its residents have access to the benefits of development, and receives the variety of cultural and social services its residents deserve. As Chairman, Robert worked to negotiate the creation of responsible housing and commercial development. His efforts as Chair of the City Properties and Land Use Committee led to the establishment of housing guidelines that challenge developers and the City to expand current levels of affordability, and developed a first source hiring program that created hundreds of jobs in the community for East Harlem residents.
Robert was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone where he helped guide the disbursement of over $82 million in for-profit financing and $13 million in grants for non-profit organizations in East Harlem. He also served on the boards of the Terrence Cardinal Cooke Community Advisory Board, Catholic Charities Community Services of New York and has served on the Board of SCANNY, a youth and family services organizations located in East Harlem and the South Bronx.
Robert holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A from NYU. Before being elected to the Assembly, Robert worked as a Vice President of a minority-owned public finance firm where he helped municipalities raise money for development and public works projects. Robert J. Rodriguez is also an emerging leader of the New America Alliance, and the Council for Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow.
Robert resides in East Harlem where he continues to work with local leaders to improve the neighborhood’s quality of life.