Robert M. Edsel has had at least three clearly defined successful careers in his 64 years in a wide variety of fields. From his beginnings as a nationally ranked tennis player, to building a leading oil and gas exploration business that pioneered the use of horizontal drilling technology, to his achievements as a #1 New York Times Bestselling author writing about and representing heroes of civilization we today know as the Monuments Men, Robert has used his innate curiosity and love of learning to bring excellence, innovation, and integrity to all that he does.
Robert has applied his wealth of experience and accomplishment to build businesses as well as advise others on start-ups of private and public companies, both “for profit” and not-for-profit. During his sixteen-year career in the exploration business, success depended on assessing risk and successfully negotiating hundreds of transactions, both buying and selling assets. While an entrepreneur at heart, he has served as a director of a successful construction aggregate company, through multiple iterations of raising private equity, to ultimately a publicly listed company. No fan of hype, Robert leads by example reminding others of the importance of “under promising, and over delivering.” He believes in “Excellence in all things.” When asked his specialty skill, he replies, “Getting things done.”
Since 2016, Robert Edsel has donated his time to meet with men and women in uniform serving in the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Division who today perform many of the duties of the Monuments Men of World War II. In addition to attending briefings, Robert has delivered pro-bono presentations on base at Ft. Meade, Maryland and Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin.
Robert has a long history of philanthropic endeavors. He dedicated nine years to service as a Trustee of St. Mark’s School of Texas, as Chairman of the Development Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and as President of the St. Mark’s Alumni Board (1987-1991). Robert founded the Cochran Chapel Homeowners Association in Dallas in 1993, serving as President for the first three years. In 2003, Robert served as Chairman of a committee working to develop a master plan for the Turtle Creek corridor in Dallas. In February 2004, the Committee gifted the master plan to the City of Dallas. It now serves as the City’s master plan for the Turtle Creek greenbelt. Robert also served on the Advisory Board of the Meadows Museum of Art, Dallas and the American Friends of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
While living in Italy, Robert was a founding Board Member of Friends of Florence. In addition to writing the group’s by-laws, he also served as Vice President for the first two years. He is still involved with the group and serves on their Council of Honorary Advisors.
Robert also served as a director of Polaris Minerals Corporation, a Vancouver-based company, from July 2002-October 2008. Polaris Minerals focuses on supplying construction aggregates to coastal urban markets on the western seaboard of North America. He served on the Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees.