Mr Stewart joins the disability charity following a distinguished career in local and regional government where he was chief executive of two Scottish unitary local authorities and the chief executive of the former East of England Regional Assembly.
He will be taking up his new position at the end of July, after Rob Hammond’s tenure as trustee chair ended following nine years on the board, seven of those as chairman.
Mr Stewart said: “I have known about the work of Papworth Trust – and its rich history - for a long time.
“Since becoming a trust board member, I have been really impressed with the dedication of staff and the passion and commitment of everyone involved with the charity.”
Mr Stewart was part of the non-executive director team which secured Foundation Trust status for the West Suffolk Hospital in 2012 and also chaired the board of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds - Britain’s oldest working Regency theatre.
His current portfolio includes being a main group board member of Clarion Housing Group – the largest housing association in England.
Mr Stewart, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, admitted that one thing that appealed to him about his new position was the fact that Papworth Trust was a respected charity as well as a housing association.
He added: “I am really excited about this opportunity to lead Papworth Trust into their new chapter by acting as an ambassador for the charity and to support them in providing consistently high-quality services that are right for our customers.”
Sarah Miller, chief executive of Papworth Trust, said: “Rob’s leadership of the Trust has been superb and his support is to be commended.
“I feel exceptionally privileged to have worked with him and we are very fortunate to have someone of Brian’s calibre and experience to succeed him.
“Brian is already making an impact as a board member and I look forward to working with him closely going forward during this exciting time in Papworth Trust’s development.”