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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, John Hope Bryant became a businessman early in life with a modest, but life changing, $40 investment from his mother in his first business idea at the age of 10.

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 and Bryant Group Ventures. Bryant has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents, whose work has been recognized by the last five (5) U.S. presidents.

On February 26, 2014, Bryant was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, focused on the next generation of young leaders. 

Mr. Bryant is the only bestselling author on economics in the world today who happens to also be African-American. How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding The Path to the Middle Class (Barrett-Koehler) was selected as the Best Business Book for Economics & Finance for 2014 by 800-CEOREAD, the Best Business Book for Sustainability in 2014 by Business+Strategy, and as one of the Essence Magazine Top 10 Best Books for 2014.

Bryant is a TIME Magazine 50 (Leaders) for the Future (1994' cover story), and an Oprah's Angel Network award recipient.


Bryant founded Operation HOPE, HOPE Global Forums, HOPE Global Initiatives, Operation HOPE, South Africa, Operation HOPE, Saudi Arabia, Operation HOPE, Morocco, Operation HOPE, United Arab Emirates, HOPE Inside, HOPE Business In A Box Academies, Banking on Our Future, Banking on Our Future, College Edition, HOPE Coalition America, (Disaster Financial Recovery Score), EFFAK (Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for FEMA), Project 5117, 5 MILION KIDS Initiative, HOPE Corps, HOPE FILE (Fellows, Interns & Loaned Executives) Program, HOPE Office of Innovation, Research & Assessment. 

Bryant co-founded Wikia-HOPE Global Money Initiative, Gallup-HOPE Index and Global Dignity.


Bryant created Bryant Group Ventures, Bryant Group Companies, Bryant Speaks, Bryant Group Real Estate, Bryant Group Africa LLC, Bryant Group Motorsports Group (in development) and Bryant Group Racing (in development).


Bryant directly inspired the creation of the City of Los Angeles loan fund (Administration of Mayor Tom Bradley), financial literacy as U.S. federal government policy, circa 2008, (George W. Bush Administration), U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Entrepreneurship Education  (George W.  Bush Administration), emergency financial disaster preparedness, response and recovery federal policy framework for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA (George W. Bush Administration), commitments for 100+ local financial literacy councils across the U.S., and formalized the inclusion of FEMA into federal financial capability policy (a seat on the U.S. Financial Literacy & Education Commission for the Obama Administration). 


Bryant co-founded The New Leaders organization (Los Angeles) and Just Brothers (Atlanta).

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, specializing in the software of human development. Reverse engineering poverty.

Published in 2009, Bryant is the author of business bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), which remained on the business bestseller list for a total of 18 months. Bryant was at the time the only bestselling business author in America who was African-American.

Published in 2014, How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. The Solution for the 100% (Berrett-Koehler), has already been licensed for Arabic, Korean, Portuguese and Greek languages. The book has also been widely recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek, TIME Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Black Enterprise Magazine and Essence Magazine, and has been featured in numerous media interviews, including CNBC Squawk Box, CNBC On The Money, Fox Business News, and a host of others nationwide.

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.  

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 led then President Bush to sign an Executive Order establishing financial literacy as federal policy for the first time in U.S. history.               

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 to more than 100 countries, 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."

In his private business, Bryant leads Bryant Group Cos., and serves on the corporate board of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (ACRE), an NYSE publicly traded company and a division of $90 billion private equity firm Ares Capital Management.  Bryant serves as chairman of the ACRE Compensation Committee.

Bryant also serves on advisory boards for 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 Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Legacy Award, and was People Magazine’s “Community Hero,” on the 10th anniversary of the worst urban civil unrest in U.S. history.

Mr. Bryant’s work has been recognized with the 11th ever John Sherman Award for Financial Education Excellence from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and has received National Community Service Awards from both Spelman College and Livingstone College, and the CUNY/Queens College President’s Award. 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 of Human Letters from Paul Quinn College of Dallas, Texas, and in April 2008, Bryant completed the Harvard University John K. Kennedy School of Government, Global Public Policy and Leadership Program, as a Young Global Leader.

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 operates its flagship HOPE Inside location at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 (World Economic Forum), a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and a member of Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

John Hope Bryant was born on February 6, 1966, in Los Angeles, California, and resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Professor Natasha Bryant.  

Office of the Chairman

Rachael Doff

Rachael Doff

Executive Vice President, CAO
Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, Office of the Chairman

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Charmela Freeman

Executive Assistant, HOPE Atlanta
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