The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced today that Rhonda Schnare, who has led the Office of International Affairs since its inception, has announced her departure from the PCAOB. Ms. Schnare joined the PCAOB in 2003 and has been the driving force behind the PCAOB's international diplomatic program around the world.
"Rhonda has worked tirelessly with her international counterparts to help the PCAOB reach numerous agreements to conduct inspections, share information, resolve data protection and other concerns, and otherwise coordinate oversight activities," said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty.
"At the same time," he added, "as the PCAOB's founding Director of the Office of International Affairs, Rhonda has assembled a first-class team of experienced international negotiators and policy experts to advise the Board going forward. I believe the investing public will reap the benefits of her work for years to come. And, on a personal note, I am grateful for the insights and advice she has provided to me, the Board, and her colleagues throughout the organization."
More than 900 non-U.S. audit firms are registered with the PCAOB because they audit, or wish to audit, the financial statements of U.S. issuers of securities. During Ms. Schnare's tenure, the PCAOB proposed, adopted and implemented rules providing for cooperation with local audit regulators in conducting inspections and other oversight activities related to these firms. The PCAOB is now inspecting in 36 jurisdictions.
Ms. Schnare and her staff also have supported the PCAOB's involvement in establishing and participating in the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators. "Through her skill as a PCAOB negotiator, her commitment to investor protection, and her role in creating IFIAR, Rhonda is one of the architects of international cooperation in auditor oversight," said PCAOB Board Member Daniel L. Goelzer, who serves as IFIAR's Vice Chairman. "She has been a catalyst in furthering robust dialogue and information-sharing among audit regulators."
Ms. Schnare also established and chaired the PCAOB's Annual International Institute. In 2011, the PCAOB held its fifth such Institute and convened 77 representatives of auditor oversight bodies and government agencies from 36 countries in Washington, D.C., to exchange views on issues that have an impact upon the oversight of auditors. The Institute also affords participants the opportunity to learn more about PCAOB programs.
"I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve the PCAOB by advancing cross-border cooperation during an historic period for the PCAOB and audit regulation globally," said Ms. Schnare. "The work has been exciting. It has been a privilege to serve under Chairman Doty and the prior chairs and other members of the Board, and to work with dedicated, public interest-minded colleagues. And I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the PCAOB's mission to protect investors."
Prior to joining the PCAOB, Ms. Schnare served at the U.S. Trade Representative, where she held the position of Associate General Counsel and represented the United States in trade disputes before the World Trade Organization as well as provided legal advice on trade-related telecommunications and electronic commerce issues in connection with the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements between the United States and its trading partners. Ms. Schnare began her career as an Honor Programs Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice where she was the lead attorney on a variety cases including the Winstar savings and loan litigation.
Ms. Schnare graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned her J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following law school, Ms. Schnare served as a law clerk to the Honorable Howard F. Sachs, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.