Barrett will serve a six-year term as a citizen regent on the board that is the governing body of the renowned institution that consists of 19 museums and nine research centers. In addition, the Smithsonian has numerous relationships with other cultural and research institutions.
In 2008 and 2009, Barrett was U.S. Ambassador to Finland. Prior to Finland she served on the corporate boards of Raytheon, Exponent and The Mayo Clinic, and was a Trustee of Aerospace Corporation and Thunderbird School of Global Management. She was Chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and a member of the Smithsonian National Board, Space Foundation Board, Horatio Alger Association Board, Defense Business Board and Senior Advisory Board at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.
Earlier Ambassador Barrett was Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and President and CEO of the American Management Association, both in New York City. She was Valley Bank of Arizona’s founding Chairman and taught leadership as a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She served as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, Partner in a large Phoenix law firm, Vice Chairman of the United States Civil Aeronautics Board and executive/officer of two Fortune 500 corporations.
Barrett was President of the International Women’s Forum and national Chairman of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Export Conference in Washington, DC. She served in leadership roles with the Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations, Center for International Private Enterprise, Freedom House and Global Center for Dispute Resolution Research, among others. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been a frequent participant with Club of Madrid and the World Economic Forum. In her community, Barrett was Chairman of the Arizona District Export Council, World Affairs Council, Economic Club of Phoenix and Thunderbird. She was a candidate for Governor of Arizona.
An instrument-rated pilot, Barrett was the first civilian woman to land in an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. She climbed Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro in August 2007 and bicycled 900 kilometers around Finland while Ambassador. She has trained as an astronaut, and was the backup spaceflight participant for the Soyuz TMA-16 flight to the International Space Station.
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