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Biographical background on 2006 Dartmouth honorary degree recipientsROBERT L. BARRYDartmouth Class of 1956(Doctor of Laws)

Posted 05/01/06 • Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

Robert L. Barry
Robert L. Barry

Robert L. Barry, a 1956 graduate of Dartmouth, has dedicated more than three decades to U.S. foreign service. A specialist in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, Barry has held numerous senior posts and appointments as a diplomat and foreign policy administrator. Through his expertise in international relations, Barry has advocated for and administers free and fair elections around the world.

Barry's senior posts in Washington, D.C. have included that of Deputy Director of Soviet Affairs, Director of UN Political Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for UN Affairs and later European Affairs. In 1981, Barry was named Ambassador to Bulgaria and in 1992, he was named Ambassador to Indonesia. In 1985, he was confirmed by the Senate as Ambassador and head of the U.S. delegation to the Stockholm Conference on Disarmament in Europe.

From 1990 to 1992, Barry coordinated U.S. assistance to Central and Eastern Europe for which he was awarded the Distinguished Honor Awards of the Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency. He is also the recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany. In 1998, Barry was chosen to head a mission in post-war Bosnia for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in which capacity he oversaw the implementation of the provisions for elections and governance outlined by the Dayton Agreement. Subsequently, Barry lead or took part in OSCE election observations missions to Serbia, Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. In 2004, he observed elections in Indonesia for the Carter Center.

Barry served as Dartmouth's first Dickey Fellow from 1983 to 1984 and taught at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business Administration. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1995, he became a principal in the energy firm, Phoenix International and a director of Union Texas Petroleum.

After graduating Dartmouth summa cum laude, Barry received an M.A. in European history from Columbia University and went on to study Soviet and Eastern European Affairs at Oxford University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1960 before going on to pursue foreign service.

Barry and his wife of 46 years, Peggy, live in Washington D.C. and Rindge, N.H. They have two children. A third died in a commercial fishing vessel accident in 1985.

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