Robert Simpson

Robert Simpson serves as president of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO), based in Syracuse, New York. CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region.

Through this work, Mr. Simpson is involved in a number of initiatives to build vibrant and sustainable communities. He is an adviser to the Brookings Institution as part of the Global Cities Initiative. He previously served as the as co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, from 2011 to 2018 by appointment from the Governor.

Simpson currently serves in leadership roles across CenterState CEO’s affiliates and partner organizations, including: The Tech Garden; the NUAIR Alliance; CenterState CEO’s Foundations, and Electronics Park LLC. He holds board and advisory seats with the CNY Biotech Accelerator and the Downtown Committee of Syracuse.

Simpson also serves on numerous community boards, including the Central New York Technology Development Organization, the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance, the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, the Lifetime Healthcare Companies, and others.

Accolades include 40 UNDER 40 recognition by CNY BizEvents (2006); the Salvation Army’s Community Team Spirit Award (2010); Onondaga Citizens League Citizen of the Year (2010), Boy Scouts of America Boypower Honoree (2016), and Loretto Health System’s Legacy Award (2019).

Before joining CenterState CEO, Mr. Simpson worked for Defenders of Wildlife, in Washington, DC; served as policy director for the State Environmental Resource Center, Madison, Wisconsin; and served as assistant legislative director for the Office of John D. Rockefeller IV, in the United States Senate.

Mr. Simpson graduated from Colgate University in 1997, and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He and his wife, Corinne Ribble, and son Ben reside in Syracuse.