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Max Messmer, celebrated History alumnus

Harold M. “Max” Messmer, Jr. is chairman and chief executive officer of Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), the world’s largest specialized staffing firm. RHI also is the parent company of Protiviti, a global consulting and internal audit firm.

During his 23-year tenure as CEO, Messmer has led the growth of the company from a small business with revenues of $7 million in 1986 to a global operating company with revenues of $4.6 billion today. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Robert Half International is a member of the Fortune 500 and Standard & Poor’s S&P 500 index.

In 2009, Fortune magazine included RHI on its list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies,” ranking the firm 1st in its industry. In 2008, BusinessWeek magazine ranked RHI 17th in its “BusinessWeek 50,” a list of the best-performing companies in the S&P 500, and Messmer was named one of America’s top CEOs by Institutional Investor magazine. In January 2004, Messmer was selected by Morningstar, an independent research firm, as its 2003 CEO of the Year. He also was the 2007 recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year national award in the Services category. RHI has repeatedly been listed on the Forbes Platinum 400 list of the best big companies in America, ranking as one of the top U.S. business services firms for investor returns and growth.

Currently a member of the board of directors of Health Care Property Investors, Inc., Messmer previously served on the boards of Airborne Freight Corporation, First Interstate Bancorp, NationsBank (of North Carolina), Pacific Enterprises, Southern California Gas Company and Spieker Properties, Inc., among others. He started his career as an associate and then partner practicing corporate law with the firm of O’Melveny & Myers. During the administration of President Ronald Reagan, he served for two years on the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations.

Messmer graduated summa cum laude and was valedictorian at Loyola University in New Orleans, and is a cum laude graduate of the New York University School of Law. In 2000, he received the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award from New York University’s Law Alumni Association.

A frequent author, Messmer’s books include Job Hunting For Dummies and Human Resources Kit For Dummies, both in their second editions; Managing Your Career For Dummies; and Motivating Employees For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons).

Messmer’s community involvement includes service on the UCSF Medical Center Executive Council and the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.