On March 22, 2010, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Robert M. “Skipp” Orr, to be the United States Executive Director for Asian Development Bank, with the Rank of Ambassador.
Robert “Skipp” Orr is currently Chairman of the Board of the Panasonic Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees of J.F. Obirin University and a member of the Board of the East-West Center Foundation. From January 2002 until March 2007 Orr was President of Boeing Japan. He held this position during the development of the most successfully selling airplane in history, the 787 Dreamliner.
Prior to joining Boeing, Orr was Vice President and Director of European Affairs for Motorola based in Brussels. And before that he held various senior level posts with Motorola in Japan culminating as Vice President of Government Relations. In that capacity he successfully led the negotiations that opened up the cellular phone market in Japan. He is also a former Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce Japan. In addition to the corporate world, Orr also has spent many years in academia and the United States Government.
Between 1985 and 1993 he was a professor of Political Science at Temple University Japan with two years off to run the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies and the Stanford Center for Technology and Innovation at the Stanford Japan Center in Kyoto. His book, The Emergence of Japan’s Foreign Aid Power, published by Columbia University Press won the 1991 Ohira Prize for best book on the Asia Pacific. Orr’s career began in 1976 when he served for two years as Legislative Assistant to Congressman Paul G. Rogers (D-FL) a 12 term member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Between 1978 and 1981 he served on the House Foreign Affairs Asia Subcommittee staff seconded from the Select Committee on Narcotics. In 1981 he was appointed as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator of Asia in the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Department of State.
Orr holds a B.A. in History, cum laude, from Florida Atlantic University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Tokyo University. He speaks German and Japanese fluently and has intermediate French.