BOB STEWART DSO
'Bosnia Bob' - Former UN Commander
Bob Stewart has worked in some of the toughest circumstances in the world. He was the first British United Nations Commander in Bosnia and has completed long service in Northern Ireland.
A distinguished speaker, Bob is an excellent communicator, captivating audiences with his experiences and sharing his insight on effective corporate leadership and team management. Bob is equally at home in the after dinner environment where his stories of managing high tension situations not only fascinate but are peppered with characteristic humour.
He is a frequent commentator on television and radio and speaks to differing audiences on subjects such as leadership in adverse situations, crisis management, negotiating skills, planning a complex operation, team-building, peacekeeping, the military and politics, and the future utility of defence politics and military power.
He experienced policy-making at the highest level during his two years as Chief of Policy at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Bob's extensive knowledge of strategy and management of challenging circumstance makes him ideally positioned to inspire today's business leaders and to talk about negotiating in crisis situations.
The son of a Regular Officer, Bob was selected for officer training when he was seventeen years old. After two years officer training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1969. Four years later he was sent to university by the Army where he obtained a First Class Degree in International Politics.
Returning to full-time Army service in 1977, Bob first became an intelligence officer in Northern Ireland before being sent to Sandhurst as an instructor. Two years later he attended the Army Staff College at Camberley for fifteen months before once again returning to Northern Ireland, this time as an infantry company commander. On 6 December 1982, as the incident commander, he was responsible for controlling and responding to a terrorist bomb at Ballykelly in Northern Ireland. The bomb killed seventeen people - six of them soldiers from his own company. He was awarded a personal commendation by the General Officer commanding Northern Ireland for his actions that day.
Over the next seven years he carried out a series of appointments. He served in Military Operations at the Ministry of Defence, attended the Joint Service Staff College, and was second in command of an infantry battalion. He became Military Assistant (Lieutenant Colonel) to the highest ranking officer in NATO, where he was responsible for writing the first speech made by a NATO officer to the Soviet Ministry of Defence in Moscow. In March 1991 he assumed command of 1st Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment. As Commanding Officer, he carried out two operational tours: to Northern Ireland again (his seventh deployment there) and as the first British Commander under United Nations command in Bosnia from September 1992 to May 1993.
During his time in Bosnia, he was nicknamed 'Bosnia Bob' and became a familiar face to television viewers around the world as he handled the intricacies of Balkan politics. On returning from Bosnia he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order by Her Majesty The Queen. He then took up an appointment as Chief of Policy at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe for two years. During that time he wrote a best-selling book on operating under United Nations Command, titled 'Broken Lives'.
He left the British Army in September 1995 to became a Senior Consultant in the public affairs and corporate policy division of a major London firm. From 1998 to March 2001, Bob was Senior Vice President for Europe and the Middle East of The WorldSpace Foundation, a company which launches satellites and promotes education/health programmes throughout the world.
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