Robert Weissman




Think Tank Staffer


Public Citizen

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Robert Weissman, an American attorney and think-tank staffer, is the president of Public Citizen, a liberal lobbying and advocacy organization. He has worked for organizations aligned with the left-of-center principles of activist Ralph Nader for much of his career.


Prior to rising to joining Public Citizen, Robert Weissman was an attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law, an organization founded by liberal activist and former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader that engages mainly in advocacy on left-wing issues, particularly environmentalism, likewise publishing books in that vein. 1 2 Afterwards, from 1995 to 2009, Weissman was the director of Essential Action (now known as Essential Information or Essential), another Nader-founded organization which advocates for harsher corporate and consumer regulations, particularly against the tobacco industry. 3

Starting in 1989, Weissman became the editor of Essential Action’s now-defunct bi-monthly magazine Multinational Monitor that published articles oriented around analysis of businesses, environmentalism, labor regulations, and global economics. Notably, the magazine ceased publication in 2009. 4 5

Public Citizen

Public Citizen, Inc. (generally known simply as Public Citizen) is a liberal lobbying and advocacy organization, which like the other organizations for which Robert Weissman has worked, was founded by Ralph Nader. Generally, the organization supports a broadly liberal policy agenda that opposes the free market interests of American business owners and entrepreneurs. In that vein, the organization takes generally left-wing stances on environmental issues, joining and supporting coalitions that oppose nuclear energy, and signing a petition in support of the Green New Deal. 6 7 8 9

On September 8, 2009, Public Citizen announced that Weissman would become its new president, citing climate change and health care policy as his top issue areas of interest. 10


On May 11, 2022, NBC News published an opinion piece by Weissman, “Elon Musk wants to unban Trump on Twitter. Will he unblock me?” taking issue with billionaire Elon Musk’s support for free speech on Twitter, a social media platform that the latter had announced an intention to purchase, and openness to restoring the account of former President Donald Trump. In the piece, as proof of Musk’s supposed lack of true interest in free speech, Weissman repeatedly notes that Musk had blocked (that is, opted to turn off all interaction with) the social media account of Public Citizen. 11

On January 19, 2022, The Progressive published an opinion piece by Weissman and his Public Citizen colleague Savannah Wooten arguing that the Pentagon should reduce its spending, and that a greater proportion of the federal budget should be spent on government healthcare, housing, and environmentalist programs. 12

Commenting in a report from Middle East Eye on an objection made by an advisory panel to the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia to investment in the Jared Kushner-linked investment firm Affinity Partners, which was overruled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Weissman told the publication that he found Kushner’s “relationship” with the country to be “extremely troubling.” 13


  1. About.” Center for Study of Responsive Law. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  2. Center for Study of Responsive Law. ProPublica. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  3. “Essential Action.” Idealist. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  4. Homepage. Multinational Monitor. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  5. Robert Weissman. Public Citizen. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  6. Public Citizen: About Us.” Public Citizen Website. Undated. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  7. ”Green New Deal Hub.” Influence Watch.
  8. “Group letter to Congress urging Green New Deal passage.” Earthworks. January 10, 2019. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  9. “Dear Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper, and Members of the Committee.” November 30, 2020. Accessed August 14, 2023.
  10. Robert Weissman, Longtime Corporate Accountability Expert and Activist, Is Public Citizen’s New President.” Public Citizen. September 8, 2009. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  11. Weissman, Robert. “Elon Musk wants to unban Trump on Twitter. Will he unblock me?” NBC News: THINK. May 11, 2022. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  12. Weissman, Robert; Wooten, Savannah. “Rein in Runaway Pentagon Spending.” The Progressive. January 19, 2022. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  13. MEE Staff. “Saudi Arabia: Panel advising sovereign wealth fund objected to $2bn funding of Kushner firm.” Middle East Eye. April 11, 2022. Accessed May 30, 2022.
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