Devin Thomas Stewart died on Palm Sunday, March 28, aged 47. Devin had been living in Tokyo with his beloved wife of 16 years, Ayano Tsunoda Stewart, since December, after many years spent in New York. He was appointed opinion editor at The Japan Times after working with Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs for over a decade. Devin also worked for the Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg presidential campaigns as a foreign policy adviser.
A respected Asia specialist, Devin was a senior fellow at Carnegie Council, researching China’s impact on Asian politics. He taught courses on international affairs at Columbia and New York universities. Devin directed the Global Fellows, Asia Dialogues and Young Professionals programs at Carnegie Council. He mentored numerous students and opened doors for many. He conducted fieldwork in 20 countries, and his writing appeared in over 10 languages, in publications including Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal and The National Interest. He was a contributing author to several monographs and books, including Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future that Works (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Tsunami: Japan’s Post-Fukushima Future (Foreign Policy, 2011) and Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century: A Reference Handbook (Praeger Security International, 2009).
Devin’s most recent post, at The Japan Times, however brief, was nevertheless well regarded. The newspaper said of him: “A friend and colleague to many, Devin was a renaissance man who will be remembered for his endless curiosity, ingenuity, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. Devin’s extensive work spanned journalism and the think-tank/policy world, and his passing is an immeasurable loss to both communities.”
Devin Thomas Stewart was born on December 30, 1973, in Wakefield, Rhode Island, to parents Susan Pettengill Stewart and Donald Stewart, both of Kingston, Rhode Island. At age 7 he moved to Bethesda, Maryland, with his mother and stepfather Francis (Chip) X. Cameron, where he graduated from Walter Johnson High School. He earned his BA at the University of Delaware, graduating cum laude with a major in international relations and a minor in philosophy and religious studies. Devin earned his MA at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, focusing on international economics and conflict management, and U.S.-Japan trade conflict.
Devin was a consummate musician, and he and Ayano played in a rock band, Lies & Cigars, with two other friends in New York. His artistic bent was as extraordinary as his foreign policy brilliance. A close friend described Devin as “a master of crafting questions about life, political affairs and music that provoked and inspired other to answer, kept the conversation flowing and included everyone in the conversation. His intellectual dexterity and modesty were equally present at casual gatherings of friends or at the Carnegie international affairs forums he hosted.”
Devin leaves behind wife Ayano, mother Susan, stepfather Chip, father Donald, Aunt Lisbeth Pettengill, brother Brandon Stewart, cat Sami and other relatives and friends across the world. Donations can be made to http://magnificatrescue.org.