Robert Stewart, senior vice president of public affairs at the Financial Accounting Foundation, died unexpectedly early last Saturday in his sleep at the age of 62.

He oversaw public relations for the FAF, the parent organization of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board and the Private Company Council. A genteel, humorous presence, he was a great source for reporters and a friend to the staff of Accounting Today. We will miss him and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and the FAF.

He joined the FAF as vice president of communications in July 2011. He was appointed to the role of senior vice president, public affairs, in December 2013.

Prior to joining the FAF, he was vice president of public affairs at the Private Equity Council, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing the nation’s largest private equity firms. Earlier, he served in senior communications posts at several Fortune 500 entertainment, telecommunications, and technology companies, including Caesars Entertainment, MCI, and Pacific Telesis Group.

During the first half of his career, he was a journalist. For more than a dozen years, he was a Washington correspondent and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He also wrote for the Providence Journal. He is a recipient of awards from the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California for his coverage of the criminal justice system. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brown University and a master’s degree in communications from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

The FAF released a statement from FAF president and CEO Teresa Polley, who worked closely with Robert.

“All of us at the FAF, the FASB, and the GASB are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend and colleague, Robert W. Stewart,” said Polley. “In his four years with the FAF, Robert established a public affairs program that successfully promoted a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the work of our standard-setting boards among the public and our many stakeholder audiences. He established valued relationships with regulators, government leaders, the media, and others with an interest in what we do. Professionally, Robert will be remembered for his many accomplishments and commitment to excellence.  Personally, his colleagues will remember him for his energy, enthusiasm, compassion, humor, and friendship. Robert will be missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing and working with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Robert’s wife, Debbie, and their two sons, John and James.”

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