Robert W. (“Bob”) Simmons, a partner in McGuireWoods’ Charlotte office and a long-time leader in local non-profit and philanthropic circles, will become the next executive director of Council for Children’s Rights, the Council’s Board of Directors announced today. As executive director, Simmons will oversee one of the largest and most comprehensive advocacy and legal service programs for children in the Southeast, which serves approximately 2,500 at-risk children each year. He will begin his new position on April 1, 2015.
“In Bob Simmons, the children of our community have a true champion,” said Board Chair Ed O’Keefe. “Over the years, Bob has demonstrated a deep commitment to the cause of children’s rights, generously sharing his knowledge and talents to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable children. His leadership has been instrumental in helping this agency to move forward in its mission to stand up for every child’s right to be safe, healthy and educated.”
Simmons brings nearly three decades of nonprofit experience to this new role. A commercial real estate lawyer by profession, he began his pro bono work in Charlotte as a volunteer with the Children’s Law Center (CLC) in 1987, joining its board in 1994. In 2002, he joined the board of the Council for Children (CFC) and was President when the CFC merged with the CLC in 2006 to form what is today the Council for Children’s Rights (CFCR), serving as the CFCR’s first President.
During this time, he was also active as a co-founder, President and General Counsel of the Children and Family Services Center; an appointed member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Board of Education; and a volunteer with numerous education-related committees for the Mecklenburg County Bar.
“I am excited to continue my association with the Council in this new role,” said Simmons. “I am dedicated to improving the lives of children in our community, and the Council plays a key role in standing up to protect our most vulnerable children and in speaking up to improve the systems that serve all children. I look forward to the opportunity to lead the Council’s staff in this important work.”
In accepting this new role, Simmons leaves behind a distinguished 32 year career in commercial real estate law, currently as a partner at McGuireWoods where he formerly served as chair of the Real Estate and Land Use Department. He is a 1980 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar, and a 1983 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law