A native of southeastern New Mexico, Robert graduated from Cornell University, served in the Peace Corps, and studied business at the University of New Mexico. He subsequently served as manager and director of enterprises engaged in farming, ranching, oil and gas exploration, manufacturing and banking. Robert has served as director of several charitable and civic organizations, among them The Nature Conservancy, the American Farmland Trust, the Albuquerque Community Foundation and the University of New Mexico’s Robert O. Anderson School of Management Foundation. Most recently, Robert served as board president of the Western Rivers Conservancy of Portland. He lives with his wife, Susan Nelson, in Corrales.