The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations is proud to announce the first Global Envoy Award was presented in December, 2021. This prestigious honor recognizes an individual member of the organization who is pursuing PCFR’s mission in an extraordinary way. 

These honorees embody the spirit of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations. They are nominated and selected from the distinguished membership of the organization by the Directors and Executive Committee. Each will have demonstrated the ability to rise above and create meaningful connections across the globe. These honored members are leaders, thinkers and diplomats--but above all, they are intrepid explorers, forging new paths and bridges between cultures, countries and communities.

Our first recipient, Secretary Barbara Barrett, was honored at the inaugural PCFR Holiday event at the Desert Botanical Garden, December 15th, 2021.

Honoree, Secretary Barbara Barrett

Secretary Barbara Barrett embodies the PCFR Global Envoy Award spirit. Here’s how Secretary Barrett reflected on her experience as a PCFR member in a student fellow interview while serving as Secretary of the Air Force:

“I believe that PCFR is one of those great community institutions that makes us stronger. There was a time when Phoenix wasn’t that international...but PCFR was always the place where leaders of the community from diverse backgrounds, from government and business and from academia, all people with an international interest could come together and meet in a critical setting where we talk about policy issues; we build enduring relationships. That was an enrichment to me. I don't think I would be in this job if it weren’t for the global opportunities I got because of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and the people I got to meet through the PCFR.

I think it’s an enrichment to our community and like so much in life, I think PCFR is what you make of it. The opportunity is there to make new friends, build new relationships and to learn about a lot more of our community because of PCFR. When we have speakers come to Phoenix to speak to the committee, we have the opportunity to hear from great leaders and learn what they’re working on and what their expertise is. But I look at it another way too. It’s an opportunity for us to show off our community, we bring people in and we get to show them not just the great place we have to live, but we also show them some of the leaders in our community. We show them the academic leaders, the business leaders and some of the academic leaders as well. So we are hearing from and learning from our PCFR speakers and visitors. We are also showing off some of the best of Phoenix because that’s who attends PCFR gatherings.”

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Barbara M. Barrett, was the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, led the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the US Air Force and US Space Force. 

About Secretary Barbara Barrett

Barbara Barrett recently was the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, leading both the US Air Force and US Space Force. She is a Regent of the Smithsonian, owns a small Montana guest ranch and serves on the board of California Institute of Technology, which operates the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Previously, Barbara led business, government, and academic enterprises. She was an executive of two global Fortune 500 companies, Chairman of the Board of The Aerospace Corporation, Chairman of Valley Bank of Arizona, and CEO of the American Management Association.

Her leadership roles include US Ambassador to Finland, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and Vice Chairman of the US Civil Aeronautics Board. She also served on boards including RAND, Exponent Corporation, Raytheon, Mayo Clinic, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the Space Foundation. She was a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and the Defense Business Board.

In diplomacy, Barbara chaired the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the US Commerce Secretary’s biennial Export Conference, and the State Department’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group. She was a Senior Advisor to the US Mission to the United Nations, a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, and President of the International Women’s Forum. She taught leadership as a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School and was interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Barbara earned her BS, MA, and JD at Arizona State University. She is an instrument-rated pilot and trained and was certified for space flight. Additionally, she is a cattle and bison rancher.

Exploring Leading Foreign Policy Issues


PCFR is dedicated to growing Arizona’s global prominence by providing forums that explore critical foreign policy issues and build enduring international connections.


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