Image via WikipediaOn May 20, 2011, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Joyce A. Barr to be the next Assistant Secretary of State for Administration. The WH released the following brief bio:
Joyce A. Barr is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as International Affairs Advisor and Deputy Commandant for the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Barr served as Executive Director for the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau at the Department of State from 2007 to 2009 and as U.S. Ambassador to Namibia from 2004 to 2007. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1979, Ms. Barr has held numerous assignments both in Washington and abroad. Her overseas experience includes assignments in Malaysia, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Kenya and Sweden. In Washington Ms. Barr’s assignments have included: Recruitment Officer in the Bureau of Personnel, Human Rights Officer for the Middle East and South Asia in the former Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and Desk Officer for the U.N. Industrial Development Organization and the World Tourism Organization in the Bureau of International Organizations.
Ms. Barr holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University, an MPA from Harvard University, an M.S. from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University and an Honorary Doctorate from Pacific Lutheran University.
According to the Historian’s Office, the Department of State created the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Administration during a general reorganization in December 1944, after Congress authorized an increase in the number of Assistant Secretaries in the Department from four to six (Dec 8, 1944; P.L. 78-472; 58 Stat. 798). The reorganization was the first to designate substantive designations for specific Assistant Secretary positions. The title for this position has varied over the years. Assistant Secretaries for Administration have supervised a variety of functions ranging from budget and personnel matters to foreign buildings and record keeping. Several of these functions, such as accounting and diplomatic security have become the responsibility of newly created bureaus.
The Assistant Secretary of State for Administration or “A” has been left vacant since the departure of Rajkumar Chellaraj, a Bush II political appointee from Texas assigned to the bureau from May 30, 2006 to January 20, 2009.
If confirmed, Ambassador Barr would assume the position after Steven J. Rodriguez who has been serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for “A” since January 2009. She would report to the Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy.