Bob Giannino

Chief Executive Officer

Bob is Chief Executive Officer of uAspire, a national leader in providing college affordability services to young people and families, with local operations in Massachusetts (Boston, Springfield, Lawrence and Fall River) and the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco & Oakland), and training partnerships reaching more than 26 other states. This year, uAspire will serve more than 15,000 students, in grades 7-16, across Massachusetts and California and will reach an additional 75,000 young people through a mix of direct service work – on the ground and virtually – and partnerships with local, regional and national non-profit organizations, school districts and charter management organizations. By 2017, uAspire will reach more than a million young people every year through a mix of direct service, training partnerships, and policy and systemic change work.

Under Bob’s leadership, uAspire has been recognized for the important role it plays on issues of college access, success and affordability. Since 2010, uAspire received the Organization of Excellence Award by the National College Access Network, was named a Social Innovator by Root Cause, was recognized by Opportunity Knocks as one of nation’s “Best Non-Profits to Work For” and the Boston Foundation for “exceptional non-profit leadership”, and by Year Up as recipient of its Urban Empowerment Award. Personally, Bob’s leadership and contributions to the community been recognized by the Boston Business Journal, the Harvard Club of Boston, Social Capital Inc., and Freedom House. Bob and uAspire have been featured in numerous media outlets for their expertise on issues of college affordability, including NPR, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education and National Journal.

Prior to joining uAspire, Bob served in several senior level management positions at Jumpstart for Young Children, including as Vice President of Business Development & Government Relations and three years as Executive Director of Jumpstart Boston. Bob serves on the Board of Directors of, the world’s largest non-profit internet job site, and the Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard, and is on the Advisory Board of Excel Academy Charter Schools. He has formerly served on the Boards of the Campus Outreach Opportunity League (Chairman), Strong Women Strong Girls (Treasurer), Mount Ida College, and Social Capital, Inc.

As the first in his family to attend college, a product of the Somerville (MA) Public Schools, and a graduate of Harvard College, Bob knows the vital role that strong financial aid advice and minimizing debt plays in ensuring a strong economic future. He resides in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

Why uAspire?

This work is personal. I was the first in my family to attend college. My father drove a fork lift and my mom was a school bus monitor. They worked hard, but we had very little financial resources, which factored, significantly, into my college decisions and made for a very difficult time in my young life. I got good advice about colleges – essay help, applications, etc. But, my financial aid counseling was not good at all. So, while I was lucky to end up at a college – Harvard – that was very generous with its financial aid, little did I know how a gap of just a few thousand dollars can put a damper on your college dreams. In turn, I ran up debt, overborrowed in student loans, had to work two jobs to make ends meet and even with all that, I struggled so badly that I needed to leave school for a year, working full time to dig myself out of the financial hole I created. Because I know, first hand, the damage that can be done without this kind of support – I am driven to make sure that every young person gets the kind of support uAspire provides.