About Bernard L. Schwartz
Bernard L. Schwartz is a private investor, a progressive public policy advocate, a philanthropist and a retired industrialist. He is currently chairman and CEO of BLS Investments, LLC, a private investment firm founded in 2006. In addition to his personal portfolio, Mr. Schwartz manages the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation which focuses on four major areas of support: think tanks and economic policy advocacy organizations that develop strategies to promote U.S. economic growth and job creation initiatives; educational institutions; medical research centers; and, major New York City-based cultural organizations. Mr. Schwartz is a life-long Democrat and an active supporter of the Democratic Party.
Prior to establishing BLS Investments in March 2006, Mr. Schwartz served for 34 years as chairman of the board and CEO of Loral Corporation (NYSE:LOR) and its successor, satellite communications company Loral Space & Communications (NASDAQ:LORL), formed in 1996. Loral Corp, a Fortune 200 defense electronics firm, at one time employed as many as 38,000 employees at its 25 locations all in the U.S. At its height Loral attained annual revenues of nearly $7.5 billion and had a market value of $13 billion.
In addition, from 1989 to 2005, Mr. Schwartz formed and was chairman of the board of K&F Industries, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of wheels, brakes and brake control systems for the aviation industry. He also served until 2001 as chairman and CEO of Globalstar Telecommunications Limited, a low-Earth orbit global mobile satellite telecommunications network launched under his leadership in 1991.
Mr. Schwartz is often called upon to express his views or provide counsel on matters ranging from U.S. economic growth and competitiveness to job creation, investment in infrastructure, innovation, technology, and research and development. At a number of institutions, he has initiated programs that rigorously examine current U.S. economic policy and competitiveness, and that consistently challenge current orthodoxy to arrive at policy proposals that will further U.S. economic and technological preeminence and will create jobs. The policy proposals that emerge from these programs are broadly distributed to members of the administration and Congress, educators, researchers, the media and the general public.
In this arena, Mr. Schwartz is chairman emeritus and sponsor of the Schwartz Initiative on American Economic Policy at Third Way, the nation’s leading centrist policy institution. He is publisher of Democracy: a Journal of Ideas, a quarterly progressive publication that spurs debate on economic and foreign policy issues. At The New School, a progressive urban university founded in 1919, Mr. Schwartz, a trustee, established a chair in economics and policy analysis, and formed and supports the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Development. He is a member of the chairman’s circle at the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the boards of the Roosevelt Institute and Center for American Progress.
In the field of medical research, Mr. Schwartz has been a trustee for more than three decades of New York University’s Langone Medical Center. Over the years he has underwritten numerous programs and fellowships and the formation of cutting-edge medical specialty centers – all of which bear the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation name.
Life-long New Yorkers, Mr. Schwartz, together with his late wife Irene and their family, supports a host of outstanding New York City-based cultural organizations that enrich life for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. He is a member of the board of the New-York Historical Society, home to both New York City’s oldest museum and one of the nation’s most distinguished independent libraries. Mr. Schwartz hosts several popular programs at the Society: the Distinguished Speakers Series, the Classic Film Series and the Classic Movie Series. He also supports the research of two postdoctoral fellows annually.
A life trustee of Thirteen/WNET Educational Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Schwartz provides funding for various programs aired by this flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service. As well, he serves as vice chairman of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Schwartz family continues the support initiated by Mrs. Schwartz of the Bard Graduate Center for design and the decorative arts.
Institutes of higher education in NYC also benefit from Mr. Schwartz’s philanthropy. In addition to the aforementioned New School, Mr. Schwartz established the Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy and Education at Fordham University. The Center researches and promotes the professional gathering and reporting of news.
Substantial long-time funding has been provided to New York City’s Baruch College, one of the most ethnically diverse student bodies in the U.S. with more than 18,000 students from 170 countries. Money magazine, which ranked more than 700 colleges and universities on the basis of “best educational value for the money,” ranked Baruch #2 behind only Princeton. The Schwartz Communication Institute there enables the integration of a strong communications curriculum across multiple disciplines, reflecting Mr. Schwartz’s belief that to succeed in professional environments one must be able to speak and write clearly and persuasively.
Mr. Schwartz, a graduate of the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance also holds an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the college. He is the author of JUST SAY YES: What I've Learned About Life, Luck, and the Pursuit of Opportunity, published in March 2014.