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Allison Barber in 2007

Allison Barber is the Chancellor of Western Governors University Indiana. WGU Indiana. The only non-profit, online university that is competency-based offers new opportunities to Hoosiers who are seeking to advance in their careers.Chronicle of Higher Ed The university was recently highlighted by President Obama as an example of an effective higher education model. Prior to this position, Allison was President of Sodenta, her own Strategic Communication business, provides strategic communication advice to clients as they seek to have a stronger impact with targeted audiences. "Allison Barber" is also an adjunct professor in the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University. Previously, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications, United States Department of Defense from 2003 to 2008. She was responsible for American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), the Defense Media Center, the Pentagon Channel, several Department of Defense websites, and the Stars and Stripes newspaper, the American Forces Press Service.

Allison has been recognized for her expertise as a communicator, leader and innovator. Her commitment to employee engagement and internal communications was recently highlighted in Smart Business Magazine. On March 2013, Allison was named Nonprofit Communicator of the Year by PR News. On November 2011, Allison was named a Woman of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal and on October 2011, Allison was named Who's Who in Education by the Indianapolis Business Journal. IBJ

On May 2011, Allison was added to the board of Techpoint

On June 2010, Allison was added to the board of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Golf Ministries.

On March 10, 2010, "Allison Barber" and her colleagues helped organize the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for the Women Air Service Pilots. World War II Female Pilots were honored for their service to the country. In November 2008, "Allison Barber" was invited to join the Board of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation. The organization provides financial training and support to the military community and funds immediate needs for those wounded in battle.

Background[]

Allison Barber earned a BS in Elementary Education from Tennessee Temple University then an MS in Elementary Education from Indiana University before beginning her career as a teacher at Merrillville Public School in Indiana. She taught there from 1986 to 1991 then left teaching upon moving to the Washington, D.C. area with her husband. She then began a career in public relations. From 1992 to 1998, she was a public relations director for the American Red Cross. Then she was president of the D.C. office of PlowShare Group, which specializes in public relations for non-profits. Then she was the president of Sodenta, a public relations and strategic communications firm (htt;://www.sondenta.com). In June 2001 she was chosen as the special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications. Then on November 26, 2003 Lawrence Di Rita appointed her to her current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications. [1] In 2008, she return to private sector and re-launched Sodenta, her own consulting business.

In 2006, with the help of Washington, D.C. pr-fim Susan Davis, International, Allison created the America Supports You program [2], to help the American people find ways to support the military and their families and communicate that support directly to the troops. In less than two years, the program included 225 grassroots organizations and had begun organizing activities which claimed to support the military; as well as 25 corporate partners that leveraged the America Supports You brand to create support for America's fighting men and women.

On May 11, 2007, officials announced that the Pentagon is "looking into complaints that Defense Department officials charged with building public support for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan might have been engaged in improper fundraising," David S. Cloud reported May 12, 2007, for the New York Times. [3] The Times reported that ASY's fundraising practices were under inspection by the Defense Department's Inspector General. One issue is "whether officials who run 'America Supports You,' helped arrange a fund-raiser for a private foundation"—the America Supports You Fund—set up in December 2006 "by former Bush administration appointees," Cloud reported. In a January 2007 memo explaining the ASY Fund, Allison Barber wrote: "What we have learned is that the American people are beginning to fatigue, even in their support for the troops. ... I don't think we have a minute to lose when it comes to maximizing support for our military, especially in the new political environment." [4] The inspection was completed within the year without any implications.

In October 2007, Stars and Stripes reported that the ASY inspection had widened to include the daily military newspaper. "Both America Supports You and American Forces Information Service -- the parent organization for Stripes -- are headed by Allison Barber," Stars and Stripes reported on October 20. In July 2006, Stars and Stripes awarded a $499,000 purchase agreement to ASY's PR firm. Stars and Stripes' top editors said the agreement raised "extreme concern among editorial staff," and promised to conduct a review of the paper's reporting on ASY. "We were aware of some interaction between S&S marketing department and ASY, but were appalled to learn the degree of involvement and the use of Stripes finances to fund the Pentagon's public relations campaign," they added. [5]

The Inspector General's report on America Supports You was released late on a Friday, December 12, 2008. [6][better source needed]

Barber helped organize an October 13, 2005, teleconference call "billed as a conversation with U.S. troops" in Iraq. President George W. Bush's questions for the troops "were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution," reported the Associated Press. "'This is an important time,' Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said to the soldiers before Bush arrived. 'The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you.'" [7] In April 2007, Allison Barber was recognized as "Communicator of the Year" for 2006 by the National Association of Government Communicators. [8]. After giving more than seven years of service to the federal government, on October 20, 2008, Barber stepped down from her position in the Department of Defense to return to the private sector with her strategic communications company, Sodenta. A Stars and Stripes newspaper article reported in the Pacific edition, Wednesday, October 22, 2008: "America Supports You head Allison Barber leaving DOD - Allison Barber, who directed the American Forces Information Service that was the parent organization of Stars and Stripes, has resigned after seven years as a deputy assistant secretary of defense, officials said Monday. Barber was also the head of America Supports You, a Defense Department public affairs program meant to give publicity to non-profit groups that support U.S. troops. A program similar to the newly launched White House program called Joining Forces.

External links[]

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