Barbara Barrett is Chairman of the Board of The Aerospace Corporation, a billion-dollar national security space technology center. She also serves on the governing bodies of Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, RAND and the Smithsonian.
Ambassador Barrett’s non-traditional legal career was inspired by her undergraduate internship at the Arizona State Legislature, where she worked a bill to create the Arizona Department of Transportation. Continuing in transportation during law school at ASU, she clerked at The Greyhound Corporation’s Law Department—a diversified Fortune 50 company with over 200 global subsidiaries.
Within four years after graduating from ASU Law, she was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as vice chairman of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) where she negotiated aviation agreements with Great Britain, China, Poland, Ireland, Peru, the Philippines, Jamaica, and other countries. After the CAB, she returned to Phoenix to join Evans, Kitchel & Jenckes while advising the President on Trade Negotiations. But soon she was nominated and confirmed as deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration overseeing aircraft, airport, air traffic and aviator safety.
In later roles, Ambassador Barrett was CEO of the American Management Association, a fellow teaching leadership at Harvard, senior advisor to the U.S. mission to the United Nations, and founding chairman of the Valley Bank of Arizona. She chaired the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, represented the U.S. as Ambassador to Finland and was interim president of Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her past corporate boards include Raytheon, Sally Ride Science, Piper Aircraft, Exponent, Hershey Trust, Mayo Clinic and the Space Foundation among others.
She and her husband, Craig Barrett, own Triple Creek Guest Ranch, a Montana Hideaway, twice ranked the #1 hotel in the world.
Eponymous Barrett, The Honors College at ASU has been recognized as the ‘gold standard’ among the nation’s honors programs.
Ambassador Barrett is an instrument-rated pilot and astronaut certified for space flight to the International Space Station on the Soyuz.