Barbara Barrett is a renaissance woman with expertise in the fields of international relations, law, business, aeronautics, and politics, and her successful career has led her to the position of chair of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
Barrett was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate and was sworn in by Secretary of State Colin Powell on May 8, 2003. In the first annual report released with Barrett as chairman in September 2004, the commission did not hesitate to point out that public diplomacy is a critical national security issue and that coordinating a strategic message is key.
Before being the first woman to serve as chair of the commission, Barrett was the first woman to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the first civilian woman to land an F18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. She was a corporate officer in two different Fortune 500 companies before she was 30 and currently serves on the corporate boards for Raytheon and Exponent, Inc.
On the international stage, Barrett served as the President of the International Women’s Forum and chairman of the board of Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management. Additionally, she has worked on the boards of Harvard's Kennedy School, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the Center for International Private Enterprise, The Freedom House, the National Legal Center, the National Constitution Center, the Horatio Alger Association and the Global Center for Dispute Resolution.
Barrett is the second of six children and was born and raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. She attended Arizona State University for her B.A., M.A. and law degrees. She and husband Craig Barrett, the president and CEO of Intel Corporation, live in Paradise Valley, Arizona
-From U.S. Department of State
Speeches and Statements on Public Diplomacy
- "The end result (of the renewed effort) won't be perfect affection for America. We will, however, keep working to have an honest and fair perception of America encouraged around the world." – Barbara Barrett Report lists "public diplomacy failures"USA Today, Carl Weiser (September 15, 2003)