Robert Schuyler Lesher Jr.

Financial Officer at Interior

Robert Schuyler Lesher Jr., 60, deputy chief financial officer at the Department of the Interior, died Aug. 23 of cancer at his Washington home.

Mr. Lesher, who went by Schuyler or Sky, was trained as an accountant and came to Washington in 1991 as the first director of federal financial systems at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, where he led government-wide initiatives for financial management reform.

For the past nine years, he was at Interior, where his work was recognized with a presidential Senior Executive Service Distinguished Rank Award in 2001 and a presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 1997. He was active in the Association of Government Accountants, from which he received several awards for financial management.

Mr. Lesher was born in Washington and spent most of his childhood in East Aurora, N.Y. After graduating from Bowdoin College in Maine, he served as a lieutenant in the Navy in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. He later received a master's degree in business administration from Columbia University.

He was a partner with the accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick in New York and later near Boston, with an expertise in information technology and financial management. He worked there for 20 years before moving to Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Joanne Freund Lesher of Washington; two children, Rebecca Anne Lesher and Robert Schuyler Lesher III, both of Washington; his mother, Marjorie Griffin Lesher of East Aurora; a sister, Kathryn Davis, of East Aurora; and two brothers, J. Griffin Lesher of Washington and Dr. Charles E. Lesher of Davis, Calif.

R. Schuyler Lesher Jr. worked at the Interior Department for nine years.