Ambassador Rick Barton

State Dept Photo
Date: 01/05/2010 Description: Ambssador Rick D. Barton © State Dept Image

(Fredrick) Rick Barton
United States Representative to the Economic
and Social Council of the United Nations


On December 1, 2009, Ambassador (Frederick) Rick Barton began serving as the U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York. In this position he works on development, peace building, climate change, human rights and related issues.

Over the past fifteen years Mr. Barton has served as the founding director of the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives; Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR); professor and lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School; and as a Senior Adviser and Co-Director of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has managed complex operations, directed strategic planning and built teams to improve the way that the United States and the international community approach the challenges of over 30 crisis places and fragile states in every part of the world.

Mr. Barton served on the Smart Power Commission, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Humanitarian Assistance, and the Presidential Transition’s Development Assistance Agency Review team. He was the Chair of the Obama for President Subgroup on Post Conflict Reconstruction and co-chair of working groups at the United States Institute of Peace and for the Princeton Project on National Security.

An expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group and the Task Force on the United Nations, Mr. Barton led independent reviews of Iraq reconstruction, developed action strategies for Iraq, Sudan and Sri Lanka, created new measurements of progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, and initiated path-breaking research and integrated approaches in Pakistan and Nigeria.

Mr. Barton’s public career includes service with Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Califano and Patricia Roberts Harris, U.S. Senator William D. Hathaway, chairmanship of the Maine Democratic Party and as a nominee for U.S. Congress.

A graduate of Harvard College (1971), Mr. Barton earned his Masters in Business Administration from Boston University (1982), with an emphasis on Public Management. He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Wheaton College of Massachusetts (2001).

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Barton lived in Argentina, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Mexico with his American diplomat parents and brothers, as well as in Switzerland while with the UN.

Married since 1975, Rick Barton and Kit Lunney have a 21-year-old daughter, Kacy, and live in Washington, D.C.