A Seattle resident since 1978, Robb became the Executive Director of Compassion & Choices of Washington (C&C of WA, now known as End of Life Washington) in 2000 and as more than 30 years of administrative experience in both for-profit and nonprofit fields. He holds bachelors degrees in music theory and performance from Miami University and was a professional trumpet player for many years.
In 1984, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to attend Simon Fraser University where he earned advanced degrees in applied science and kinesiology (a primarily pre-medical study of human anatomy, biomechanics and exercise physiology related to movement) and certification in health and wellness studies. After graduating, he returned to Seattle, earned certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and worked as an athletic director and kinesiologist for many years.
Robb had his first experiences with death and dying as musician in residence at Children’s Hospital where he worked with several children who died of leukemia. In 1994, Robb’s long-term partner was diagnosed with AIDS and the following year, his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His experience caring and advocating for his partner and father – from their diagnoses until their deaths – made him an activist for better end of life care and expanded choice at the end of life.
In 2005, Robb received the Hugh Gallagher Award, a national social justice award given to the person who has most effectively advocated for the rights of people from diverse populations. He also created a new C&C of WA advance directive that set a new standard for advance planning documents in Washington, was the coauthor of a first-of- its-kind Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Mental Health Advance Director, and a second groundbreaking document for people dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s called My Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking.
Robb was a steering committee member of the Washington End of Life Coalition, sponsored by the Washington State Medical Association from 2000 – 2015. One of the highpoint in his career was become a leader and key campaign spokesperson of the I- 1000 Coalition which passed Initiative 1000, the Washington Death With Dignity Act, with nearly 60 percent of the vote in November, 2009. After the passage of the law, he led C&C of WA’s efforts to ensure its proper implementation, uphold the rights of Washington residents to access to it, and protect it from opponent’s efforts to weaken or compromise it.