Director

Robb Knuepfer joined the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1982, shortly after he left the U.S. Attorney’s Office – where he served as a criminal prosecutor – and then joined the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie – where he was senior partner in their corporate practice group. Robb became a Chesley R. Perry Fellow (the first RI General Secretary) of the Rotary/One Foundation in 1989, and had the honor of serving as Centennial President of Rotary/One for the 100th Anniversary of Rotary in 2005. Coincidentally, his law firm was founded in Chicago in 1949, and today is the world’s largest law firm with more than 4,500 lawyers practicing in 80 offices in 30 countries.

In 1992, he moved to Budapest, Hungary to establish his firm’s Central Europe and Russian offices. While in Hungary, he founded the Budapest City Rotary Club in 1993, which was one of the first Rotary clubs established behind what was formerly known as the “Iron Curtain.” He was elected the first president of that club. He returned to Chicago and Rotary One in 1995, and served as District Governor for the Birthplace District of Rotary in 2010 to 2011.

Robb and his wife Nancy served on a Polio Immunization Team to India in 2011, and have served as President's Representatives to District Conferences in 2012 (Kansas), 2103 (Iowa), 2014 (New Jersey), and 2015 (Florida). He is a trustee of the Rotary One Foundation, a past member of the Midwest PETS Council, the Rotary International Finance Committee, and The Rotary Foundation Investment Committee. He is his District’s representative to the 2016 Council on Legislation. He is a member of the Rotary Global History Fellowship, Room 711 Fellowship, and the Wine and Food Fellowship of Rotary International. Robb and his wife are Paul Harris Fellows, Charter Members of the Paul Harris Society, Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation, and Benefactors to The Rotary Foundation.

He also serves as Chair of the Paul Harris Home Foundation, which owns the Harris residence known as “Comely Bank” in Chicago. The home was acquired in 2005 and is undergoing renovation, following a $5 million capital campaign chaired by Robb.

He was recently selected to represent Zones 28 and 29 as Rotary International Director for 2017 to 2019.

In addition to his Rotary commitments, Robb has a distinguished record of public service in government and in the private sector, and served on the board of directors of the Adler Planetarium, Metropolitan Family Services, and the Executives Breakfast Club, among others. He has also served as Chairman of ATO Foundation, founder of the LeaderShape Foundation, and is active in the Hinsdale Community House and Boy Scouts of America, to name a few. He has taught at both the Law School and the Business School at Northwestern University for the past 20 years. He is the author of several books on business transactions.

In 2013, he was knighted by the Republic of Hungary in recognition of his years of service to Hungary, and in 2014 was appointed Consul General of Hungary for the midwestern states in the U.S.

Robb is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Denison University, and earned a Master's degree in Business Administration from Kellogg and a Juris Doctor degree from the Law School at Northwestern University. He received the Alumni Medal from Northwestern University, and the Alumni Citation from Denison University. He is currently a Master of Divinity student at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Robb retired from Baker & McKenzie in 2014, and is now secretary and member of the board of directors of The HallStar Company, a private chemical manufacturer in Chicago with global operations, and serves as Senior Vice President, Leadership Development, Risk Management, and General Counsel for the company.

And we need to point out that Robb has been married to childhood sweetheart, Nancy, for 38 years, and they have four children, Rob, Jenny, Lauren, and Joe, and seven grandchildren under the age of 5 years old!

Like Paul Harris, Robb is a lawyer. And like Paul Harris, Robb has devoted his life to community service. In fact, his birthday, February 23, is the same date Rotary was founded – February 23, 1905!