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Joyce Barr is a Professor of Practice in Government and International Affairs with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as well as a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow. A former Ambassador and Assistant Secretary with more than 37 years of service, she attained the personal rank of Career Minister before retiring from the Department of State in January 2017. In 2018, she was inducted into the United States National Defense University Hall of Fame.

From 2011 until 2017, she served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Administration. In 2010, she became the first civilian Interim Chancellor of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (now the Eisenhower School) after serving as Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Advisor since 2009. From 2007 until 2009, she was the Executive Director of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau. She was sworn in as Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia in 2004 where she served until 2007. In addition to tours in Sweden, Hungary, Kenya, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Malaysia, domestic assignments included work on Human Rights, UN Specialized Agencies, crises management, oversight of US overseas facilities and a Congressional detail.

She earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard and a MS in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University. In addition to awards from the Department of State, she was given the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She also received an honorary doctorate and a distinguished alumna award both from Pacific Lutheran University.

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