Bob Dold

Spring 2017 Resident Fellow

Former two-term U.S. Representative for the 10th District of Illinois

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Bob Dold recently left the United States House of Representatives after serving two terms representing Illinois 10th Congressional district.  Congressman Dold served on the Financial Services Committee and the powerful  Ways & Means Committee where he was focused on access to capital for small businesses, tax reform, healthcare reform and tackling poverty issues plaguing communities across our nation.

Dold has been ranked as one of the most independent bi-partisan members of the US Congress.   Dold is an original member of the No Labels movement which, Dold stated, he hoped would help to end the gridlock in Washington, DC.  He served as the Co-Chair of the Tuesday Group, an informal caucus of moderate Republicans focused on pragmatic governing solutions.  An editorial in The Daily Herald noted Dold’s spirit of bipartisanship and called for more Bob Dolds in Congress.  in 2015, The Lugar Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit founded by former Senator Richard Lugar released a Bipartisan Index in cooperation with Georgetown University, ranking Congressman Dold the fifth most bipartisan congressman (out of 438) in the 114th Congress

After high school, Bob continued a family tradition and earned a BA from Denison University.  His educational credentials include a law degree from Indiana University, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Bob ran Rose Pest Solutions, a small business founded in 1860.  It is the oldest pest management company in the United States.  Rose Pest Solutions is headquartered in Northfield, IL, and serves families and businesses throughout Northern Illinois and beyond.  As a small business owner and operator, Bob has faced many of the challenges confronting business leaders who struggle to remain competitive and successful, and he understands the pressures on families to work hard and save money for the future in an uncertain economy.

Bob gathered extensive and diverse experience both in Washington and business.   He served as an investigative counsel for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, where he worked on campaign finance reform.

Today Bob lives on the North Shore, just a few blocks away from his childhood home, his church, and the public schools he attended.  Bob and his wife of ten years, Danielle, are the proud parents of three children – Harper, Bobby and Honor.

Bob is also an active member of his local community. For the past seventeen years he has been the Scoutmaster for Troop 13 Senior Scouts, the same troop where he became an Eagle Scout.  The ideals of the Eagle Scouts - integrity, personal responsibility and community leadership - describe Bob’s personal perspective and compelled him to run for public office.

Dold's Ambassadors

Bob's Answers to our Proust Questionnaire

What is your favorite virtue? I don’t know if it’s necessarily a virtue, but how you deal with “Plan B,” so flexibility, since things are not going to always go your way. And kindness. Civility. 

What is your chief characteristic? I would hope that people would think that I am approachable, friendly, and thoughtful. 

What do you appreciate the most in your friends? That they’re authentic. They’re not my friends because of a position I’ve had. They’re just my friends because what we have in common, sometimes what we don’t have in common. Like lifelong learning, my hope is that I’m always gaining friends. I like their experiences, their authenticity. I look to them often times for inspiration. 

What is your main fault? I tend to avoid conflict, and sometimes conflict is necessary. Sometimes I will put off conflict until the problem has exacerbated and then we have a bigger issue than if we had just dealt with the conflict early on. 

What is your favorite occupation? Being a member of Congress was the honor of my life, to be able to represent people and give voice to those that believed they didn’t have one, and to be able to represent a unique district, it was certainly fantastic and one of those things I will cherish. 

What is your idea of happiness? Spending time with family. And finding enjoyment in everyday life is really important, so appreciating the little things that are right in front of you all the time that people take for granted. Being able to sit down and read a good book, spending time with your family, being outdoors and being able to take a hike. 

What is your idea of misery? Being around negative people.

If not yourself, who would you want to be? I don’t know, largely because I try to tell my children that we want them to be the best that they can be, to be authentic and genuine. I don’t want to be somebody else. I focus on what can I be doing better. 

Where would you like to live? I am biased about the city of Chicago, I love the city, it’s home and it always has been. But I have been bit fiercely by the travel bug. I don’t think there’s any place in the world that I wouldn’t go and there are so many places in the world that I haven’t been yet. One of my favorite places is out west here in the U.S..

What is your favorite color? Presidential blue! 

What is your favorite flower? Probably the tulip. There’s something about that time in the spring, when the tulips are coming up, that is pretty spectacular. 

Who are your favorite authors? Walter Isaacson. Ayn Rand is certainly one that I appreciate. There’s another author I recently read, Alvin Townley, who has just written a book about the Alcatraz Eleven which I thought was fantastic. And then you get your Baldaccis and all those other kind of fun reads. Then you’ve got your Doris Kearns Goodwins, some of the biographers who are pretty spectacular. Writing well is a gift. 

Who are your heroes or heroines in real life? My father was one. My uncle Bob Shoemaker, he was a POW in Vietnam, was in captivity for eight years and a day, and just to understand and look at what he was able to endure and go through, to me, is nothing short of remarkable. I look at John Lewis who I was able to serve with, and Sam Johnson, who were both recognized recently for their leadership and the things that they have done. Walking on the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis was certainly unbelievable. No question he is an American hero. Sam Johnson was part of the Alcatraz Eleven and was in a cell next to my uncle.

What is your favorite food & drink? Short ribs or pot roast. That’s very much a comfort food. I love my mother-in-law’s lasagna. She’s 100% Italian and it is one of my favorite dishes. And my sister makes the best raspberry pie in the whole world. For drink, I’d say a classic cabernet would go a long way. 

What do you hate the most? Cruelty and indecency. There’s no place for it. 

What is a natural talent you’d like to have? I would love to be able to play the piano. And I would love to have a photographic memory. 

What is your favorite motto? “Your integrity determines your identity."

What is one thing that you think people would be surprised to learn about you? I am Eagle Scout and a Scout Master. And people are often times surprised to know that I drove a hearse in college. It was my car. 

What is one thing that you’ve done that has surprised you? I never thought I would run for Congress.