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Ambassador Barton is a lecturer at Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) where he served as the Co-Director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) with Kit Lunney from 2016-23 and was the Frederick Schultz Professor from 2001-2. His dozen years of teaching focuses on peace building and the avoidance, mitigation and recovery from conflict and violence. He authored Peace Works: America's Unifying Role in a Turbulent World in 2018.

Ambassador Barton was the first Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations (2011-14), U.S. Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York (2009-11), Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (2002-9), Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees at UNHCR (1999-2001), founding Director of USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (1994-9) and a business and political leader in Maine (1972-94). He led peacebuilding initiatives in over 40 crisis zones across the globe, from Haiti, Iraq, Nigeria, Burma to Pakistan.

Ambassador Barton and his wife Kit Lunney love working with younger people as they shape their lives and careers. Their daughter Kacy is a family therapist.

Ambassador Barton has a B.A. in government from Harvard College (1971) and an MBA from Boston University (1982). Ambassador Barton received an honorary doctorate from Wheaton College of Massachusetts in 2001.

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