Rob Leteste

Rob began his career during the Great Recession, which started a continuous thread of supporting our community to persevere and prosper. An Americorps term with John R. Oishei Foundation provided Rob with a first-hand perspective on the great diversity of WNY’s economy and its people. Taking this foundational understanding of his community to higher education, Rob has worked with UB and SUNY Erie to create new economic opportunities for WNY, and to prepare our workforce to match our employers’ needs. Rob spent most of 2020 in Chicago where he worked to educate future essential health care workers. Drawn to Be In Buffalo, Rob returned to Buffalo-Niagara to support yet another WNY perseverance story as the region kicks back in gear after the COVID pandemic.
Rob was brought to UB to coordinate the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences’ NYSTAR Center for Advance Technology (CAT) and STARTUP NY programs. In this role, he supported entrepreneurs and business leaders to convert innovation and incentives into economic opportunity. With these new opportunities top of mind, Rob was recruited to SUNY Erie to manage multiple Career & Technical Education grants which funded curricula updates to better prepare students for work.
In recent years, Rob has pursued extensive training in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This education began with programming sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and was expanded upon with his participation in the national Education Pioneers fellowship. Rob holds a strong belief that an equitable community will expand the economic prosperity in every corner of WNY.
Rob received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from UB in 2009. He also completed his master’s degree in Education from UB. He is an alum of Americorps and Education Pioneers. Rob calls Buffalo’s Elmwood Village home, and is a fond patron of its many cafes.