Robert G. Young
Robert G. Young set his sights on a career in finance in high school, taking all the accounting courses available to him. However, he never dreamed that his passion for the field would take him to a leadership role in one of the most respected and well-known nonprofit organizations in the world. “I didn’t know all that it would take to get here, and the thought of being a CFO never occurred to me back then, but I knew I loved numbers and this field.” After a 20+-year career that included roles as a controller for the ASPCA, vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund, and an auditor for Quest Diagnostics and KPMG, in 2020, Robert assumed the role of CFO for the National Geographic Society. He leads a 25-person finance department, manages cash flow and forecasting, maintaining the ledger, and preparing monthly statements, and partners with senior management to determine the strategy and operations of the organization.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit that uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. For Robert, helping the philanthropic mission of the Society is what drives him every day. “While I enjoy the financial aspect of it, to know that I’m contributing to an organization that’s helping to make the world a better place is tremendously rewarding,” he says. Robert approaches his work with the same determination that got him where he is today. “I had to put myself through school, working during the day and taking classes at night, all while caring for my family,” he says. “In my role here, I use that same drive and determination to help the organization continue its noble work.”
Robert is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Accountants and past president of its Northern New Jersey chapter, where he currently resides. He’s also a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants.
Robert G. Young
CFO — National Geographic Society