Vanessa Barron
Junior Vice Commande - Army

Colonel (Ret.) Vanessa D. Barron has served in the United States Army, both Active and Reserve for 31 years.  During this time she has served the nation in both war and peace, having been mobilized and deployed overseas three separate times.  Colonel Barron received her Army Commission from the ROTC program at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York in 1978 and served as a Transportation Officer and Administrative Officer with various units until 1985.  She served in the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Community in Civil Affairs units since 1985, having served in many varied command and staff positions giving her an extremely diversified background.   Prior to and during Operation Desert Storm she served as the Detachment Commander for the 304th Civil Affairs Group. She served as the J-1 Personnel Staff Officer for the Combined Joint Civil Military Task Force in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Enduring Freedom and the Brigade Operations Officer for the 358th Civil Affairs Brigade in support of the First Marine Expeditionary Force prior to and during Operation Iraqi Freedom.    As the Brigade Operations Officer she was responsible for the daily compilation of Civil Affairs reports and assessments for submission through the First Marine Expeditionary Force to the Coalition Forces Land Component Command.  Following the end of major ground combat, Colonel Barron was reassigned to the Humanitarian Operations Center located in Kuwait where she served as the Cultural and Environmental Affairs Team Chief.  The team, in conjunction with the Kuwait Volunteer Works Committee held the first People Actively Volunteering for their Environment (PAVE) Conference which brought Iraqi University students and professors to Kuwait to interact and exchange ideas with their professional counterparts.  Upon return to the United States, Colonel Barron was assigned the Chief of the Public Facilities Team.  She developed a concept for internship programs with civil corporations to provide on the job training for soldiers in the areas of public transportation, public communications and public utilities.  Colonel Barron joined the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, Staten Island, N.Y. in April 2008.  She was selected to instruct the NATO CIMIC Officer Course under a memorandum of understanding between the NATO School Commandant and the Commanding General of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command. 

Colonel Barron has graduated from the U.S. Army Transportation, Adjutant General, and Civil Affairs branch qualification courses and the United States Army Command and General Staff College.  She was born in Durham, North Carolina, and currently resides in Coatesville, PA.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Transportation from Niagara University and a Masters Degree in Education from Cabrini College.  Colonel Barron was the North Atlantic Regional Director of the federal Troops to Teachers program and served as the original Chair of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania’s Veterans Advisory Committee and a member of the University Council on Diversity and Academic Excellence.   She retired from the Veterans Benefit Administration having worked in the Pension and Compensation Management Centers. She is married and has two sons.