At the association’s 27th Annual World Affairs Council of St. Louis observance of the Chinese New Year, retiring Executive Director Robert A. Fischer was recognized for 16 years of service by the World Affairs Council of St. Louis. Honors included appointment as Emeritus Director by the WAC-STL board and recognition of March 2 as Robert A. Fischer Day in St. Louis by Mayor Lyda Krewson.
The mayor’s proclamation reads in part “Mr. Fischer has served his hometown well and has done much to connect St. Louis to the world his entire career.”
In naming Fischer Emeritus Director, the WAC-STL Board recognized Fischer for nurturing “a relationship with the State Department’s Global Ties program, and hosted many guests from distant lands as part of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). This hospitality projected Saint Louis as one of kindness and willingness to promote economic and social development for other nations.” Other initiatives spearheaded during Fischer’s term included:
- the WorldQuest program, which includes high school students to learn more about the world outside their borders and advanced lives of academic excellence and personal achievement.
- the International Humanitarian of the Year award, which enabled Saint Louis to recognize organizations and individuals for their acts of kindness, compassion, and charity in times of disaster and difficulty.
- the Great Decisions program to promote learning and discussion on international affairs for students, adults, and senior citizens in the Saint Louis region
Fischer became executive director of the World Affairs Council of St. Louis on January 2, 2002. From 1995 through 2001, he served as Vice President, International with Policy Management Systems Corporation (PMSC) located in Columbia, South Carolina; a publicly traded company that was the largest supplier of insurance industry software in the world.
Fischer began his business career in 1961 as a salesperson for IBM. After several highly successful years, he worked in national marketing and held several sales management positions. In 1973, Fischer became IBM’s Industry Director responsible for IBM’s global business within the insurance industry; a position he held until 1979. In addition to IBM, and PMSC, he held executive management positions with Dun & Bradstreet, McDonnell Douglas, Prime Computer, and Structural Dynamics Research Corporation. From 1982 through 1986, Fischer was the Group Executive of McDonnell Douglas Information Systems Group (MDISG); a business with annual revenues in excess of US $1 billion and that employed about 10,000 people.
Fischer is a native of St. Louis and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S. in Business Administration. He also served two years on active duty as a Captain in the United States Army. He is married and has five children and six grandchildren.