Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations
Term: April 3, 2012 to present
Ambassador Rick Barton of Maine was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization on April 3, 2012.
Mr. Barton has worked to improve the U.S. and international response to conflict in more than 30 of the world’s most unstable places. He led independent reviews of Iraq reconstruction; developed civilian strategies for Iraq, Sudan, and Sri Lanka; created new measurements of progress in Iraq and Afghanistan; and initiated path-breaking approaches to conflict reduction in Pakistan and Nigeria.
The leadership positions he has held in this field include Co-Director of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and founding director of the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives.
Previously, Mr. Barton served for nearly two years as the U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), working on development, peace building, climate change, and human rights. Mr. Barton served on the Smart Power Commission, as an expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group, and as professor and lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He led conflict-related working groups at the United States Institute of Peace and for the Princeton Project on National Security.
Mr. Barton is a past chairman of the Maine Democratic Party. He graduated from Harvard College (1971) and earned his Master in Business Administration from Boston University (1982). As the children of American diplomats, Mr. Barton and his brothers lived in Argentina, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Mexico. Married since 1975, Mr. Barton and Kit Lunney have an adult daughter, Kacy, and live in Washington, DC.