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Barbara Barrett

Youngest Vice Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board

Work, education and perseverance have been the keys to the achievements of Barbara McConnell Barrett. As the only woman chosen among the recipients of the 1999 Horatio Alger Awards, Barbara was recognized for her ability to rise out of adversity and become highly successful. After her father died, Barbara and her brothers struggled to maintain the family horseback trail-riding business. She worked her way through college, attended night school and graduate with honors in Public Administration. She went on to obtain a law degree from Arizona State University.

For almost three decades, Barbara McConnell Barrett has worked in transportation on local, state, national and international levels. Before age 30, she was an executive and an officer of two diversified Fortune 500 companies. In 1983, President Reagan appointed Barbara to the post of Vice Chairman of the United States Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the youngest appointee in the Board’s history, where she negotiated aviation agreements with Great Britain, China, Poland and many other countries. In the changing commercial aviation environment, she assisted in restructuring the federal regulatory agencies and industry. During the Reagan Administration, she served as the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) where she managed 47,000 employees.

Barbara was appointed to DACOWITS by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, and served during the Persian Gulf War, Tailhook and the elimination of the law banning women from flying in combat. She was also an advisor to Presidents Reagan and Bush on trade policy and in 1994, was the first Republican woman to run for Governor of Arizona. In addition to aviation and international business, Barbara McConnell Barrett has served as President of Triple Creek Guest Ranch. She and her husband, Craig, President and CEO of INTEL, live in Arizona.

Barbara has also served as the Ambassador of Finland and the 25th Secretary of the Air Force.

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U.S. Air Force | U.S. Department of Defense | Aerospace | Historical League