Leslie F. Seidman, Chairman

Leslie F. Seidman was named chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) by the Financial Accounting Foundation, effective December 23, 2010. She was originally appointed to the FASB in July 2003 and was reappointed to a second term in July 2006.

As chairman of the FASB, Ms. Seidman is responsible for managing the organization’s day-to-day activities and leading the Board’s efforts to develop high-quality financial reporting standards that result in decision-useful information for investors and other users of financial statements. This includes oversight of the FASB’s extensive due process, designed to educate and elicit input from a diverse group of U.S. stakeholders through regularly scheduled Board meetings, speaking engagements, roundtables, comment letters, and other public outreach efforts. Responsibilities also include guiding the FASB’s joint agenda with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as the two organizations work toward achieving a common set of high-quality, global accounting standards.

From 1994–1999, Ms. Seidman was a member of the FASB staff. She initially joined the organization as an industry fellow, after which she served as a project manager and as the assistant director of research and technical activities. As assistant director, she supervised staff members dealing with implementation and practice issues, including the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force, and had liaison responsibilities for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the regulators of financial institutions.

In between her two tenures at the FASB, Ms. Seidman founded and managed a financial reporting consulting firm, serving corporations, accounting firms, and other organizations. Prior to her fellowship at the FASB, Ms. Seidman was a vice president in the accounting policies department of J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc., where she was responsible for establishing accounting policies for new financial products, particularly securities and derivatives, and analyzing and implementing new accounting standards. Ms. Seidman started her career at Arthur Young & Co. (now Ernst & Young, LLP), as a member of the audit staff, serving clients in the retail, publishing, and venture capital industries.

Drawing upon her extensive knowledge of standard setting and the financial services industry, Ms. Seidman authored the first three editions of Financial Instruments, a comprehensive practice manual for accountants and other professionals (currently in its 11th edition from publisher CCH). In addition, she has authored, reviewed, and edited hundreds of accounting pronouncements of the FASB and AICPA, and contributed to several books and other publications. She is the recipient of the 2011 Max Block Distinguished Article Award.

Ms. Seidman is a member of the AICPA, the American Woman’s Society of CPAs, Financial Executives International, the International Women’s Forum, and the Institute of Management Accountants, where she formerly served on the Financial Reporting Committee. Ms. Seidman, a CPA (inactive), earned an M.S. degree in accounting from New York University Stern School of Business and a B.A. degree in English from Colgate University.