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AZ Women’s Education & Employment Names Barrett as Honorary Gala Chair
Barbara Barrett has been named honorary chair of the Arizona Women’s Education and Employment 2018 Faces of Success Gala.
The event, which will take place February 9 at the PERA Club, will celebrate success stories and memories. This is also the event’s first year as a gala after 22 years as a luncheon.
Barrett will also receive the inaugural Barbara Barrett Arizona Women’s Education and Employment Icon Award, which will be presented annually in her name to a person who reflects courage, strength and character to overcome challenges and obstacles.
“We are thrilled to recognize and honor the significant contributions that Ambassador Barbara Barrett has made, not just to Arizona Women’s Education and Employment but to the entire community, and to acknowledge through this annual award individuals who have overcome significant barriers to create better tomorrows for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Christina Worden, Faces of Success committee chair and political involvement committee administrator at Salt River Project.
Barrett represented the United States as ambassador to Finland, served as interim president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, held the position of CEO of the American Management Association and worked as a senior advisor to a U.S. mission to the United Nations.
She chairs the board of The Aerospace Corporation, serves on the boards of RAND and the Smithsonian and owns a guest ranch that has been rated the best hotel in the world, twice.
Despite these accomplishments, Barrett’s early life wasn’t easy. At 13-years-old she began working by giving horseback rides and lessons to help support her family when her father died of a heart attack. She worked multiple part-time jobs while she attended Arizona State University and held an undergraduate internship in the Arizona legislature where she drafted a bill that launched the Arizona Department of Transportation.
She was appointed vice chairman of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board and later was appointed as the first woman deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
She recognized the importance of education and employment for women and became a member of the Arizona Women’s Education and Employment board during its formative years.