is the president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, the national organization dedicated to advancing the arts and arts education in people's lives, schools, and communities. He was executive director of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies for 12 years, and managed the successful merger of that organization with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts in 1996. In 2005, he oversaw the merger of the Arts and Business Council, Inc. into Americans for the Arts. In 2005, Bob also created the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected political action committee to engage citizens in advocating for the arts and arts education to ensure arts-friendly public policies. With more than 30 years of experience in the arts industry, Bob is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance arts and arts appreciation in society. Under his 23 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts has grown to over 50 times its original size in 1985. He has personally reached audiences in 49 states and eight countries, ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the president of the United States. Bob currently serves on the board of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, the Arts Extension Institute, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Bob plays the piano, mandolin, and guitar, and lives in Washington, DC. Robert L. Lynch was the Director of the Arts Extension Service from 1976 to 1985.