Operation HOPE CEO and Founder John Hope Bryant
“John Bryant is a 41-year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with ‘a hand up and not a hand out.’”
–President Bill Clinton
A natural entrepreneur, life as businessman for young John Hope Bryant began with a modest but life changing $40 investment by his mother in his very first business idea, at the age of 10 in Compton, California. On February 26th, 2014, Bryant was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.
A TIME Magazine 50 (Leaders) for the Future (1994' cover story), and an Oprah's Angel Network award recipient, John Hope Bryant is a ‘silver rights’ entrepreneur and businessman, author, thought leader, philanthropist and the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE. Bryant has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents, whose work has been recognized by the last 5 U.S. presidents.
Through Operation HOPE and its partners, Bryant is today responsible for more than $2 billion of private capital supporting low-wealth home ownership, small businesses, entrepreneurship and community development investments in under-served communities across the U.S. Operation HOPE operates on-the-ground partnerships in more than 300 U.S. cities, South Africa, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has served more than 1.5 million clients, recruited and mobilized more than 22,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, enjoys more than 5,000 partners from government, community (including faith) and the private sector, and is the global leader in financial dignity.
Operation HOPE, founded as America’s first non-profit social investment banking organization immediately following the Rodney King Riots of 1992, in South Central Los Angeles, today operates as a global non-profit software company (the software of human development).
Author of Inc. Magazine-CEO READ business bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass, 2009), Bryant remained on the business bestseller list for a total of 18 months, and today Bryant is the only bestselling business leadership author in America who is African-American.
Mr. Bryant served U.S. President Barack Obama as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, and a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. In this role Bryant represented the broad interest of approximately 100 million American citizens who struggle at the margins. Under President Obama, Mr. Bryant’s Committee secured commitments for more than 100 local financial literacy councils across America.
Prior to this, Mr. Bryant served U.S. President George W. Bush as Vice-Chairman of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, and Chairman of that Council Committee on the Underserved as well. Operation HOPE’s work inspired then President Bush to sign an Executive Order establishing financial literacy as federal policy for the first time in U.S. history. Bryant views this first Executive Order as an American silver rights bill.
Bryant's President’s Council work resulted in the creation of the U.S. SBA Office of Entrepreneurship Education, the issuance of a first ever U.S. Treasury Department report on financial literacy and responsible sub-prime lending, and inspired several House and U.S. Senate financial literacy legislative proposals.
Raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, California and homeless for 6-months of his life by age 18, John Hope Bryant has traveled throughout North and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, tirelessly promoting the virtues of hope, self-esteem, love leadership, dignity, empowerment and opportunity for all.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton described Mr. Bryant in his bestselling book GIVING saying, “John Bryant is a 41 year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with ‘a hand up and not a hand out." John Hope Bryant is one of the most authoritative and compelling advocates for poverty eradication in America today.
In his private business, Bryant leads Bryant Group Cos., and serves on the corporate board of NYSE Euronext publicly listed Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (ACRE), a division of $60 billion private equity firm Ares Capital Management.
Bryant also serves on advisory boards for the NYSE Euronext Financial Literacy Advisory Committee, the Gallup Government Leadership Academy, the Kaplan University Business School, and the Desmond Tutu Center. Bryant is also a regular contributor for the Huffington Post and LinkedIn Influencers.
Bryant is a former UN goodwill ambassador to the U.S., a partner with former U.S. President Clinton and his foundation teaching financial literacy, and working with HOPE global spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young, is bridging civil rights to silver rights.
Bryant has received more than 500 awards and citations for his work to empower low-wealth communities including the Use Your Life Award by Oprah Winfrey, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Legacy Award, and named a “Community Hero” by People Magazine on the 10th anniversary of the worst urban civil unrest in U.S. history. Mr. Bryant has received the National Community Service Award from both Spelman College and Livingstone College, and the CUNY/Queens College President’s Award, their highest honor. The USC School of Social Work annually awards an endowed USC John Bryant Scholarship to a deserving student. Mr. Bryant has received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters from Paul Quinn College of Dallas, Texas, and in April 2008, as a Young Global Leader Bryant completed the Harvard University John K. Kennedy School of Government, Global Public Policy and Leadership Program.
In the backdrop of the Great Recession of 2009, Mr. Bryant joined Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Global Dignity co-founders HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, for the closing session of the Annual ‘Davos’ Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the subject “dignity for all.” Global Dignity is now active in 55 countries.
Connecting civil rights with a 21st century vision for silver rights, Operation HOPE built its flagship HOPE Inside at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. Ebenezer Church was Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s pastoral church, and the Center itself was built in honor of Martin Luther King, Sr. (Daddy King).
Mr. Bryant is a co-founder of Global Dignity, a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a founding member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, the founding curator of the Forum of Global Shapers, Atlanta Hub (part of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland), a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and a member of Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia.