DoD Education Advisor
Barbara Thompson assumed the duties of director for the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy in September 2006, and retired in January 2017. Ms. Thompson was responsible for programs and policies that promote military families' well-being, readiness, and quality of life. In this capacity, she had oversight for DoD child development and youth programs, serving 700,000 children daily at more than 300 locations worldwide.
Ms. Thompson had purview over military family readiness programs, including spouse well-being and career advancement, military family lifecycle and transition support, and community capacity building to support geographically dispersed military members and their families. She also had oversight of the Family Advocacy Program and Exceptional Family Member Program. Ms. Thompson coordinated support programs for severely injured service members and their families and supported rebuilding the Ministry of Education in Iraq during her tenure.
Since her retirement, Thompson has served on the Board of Directors for Child Care Aware of America and ZERO TO THREE. She also serves on advisory boards for Blue Star Families, Military Child Education Coalition, and the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue. In 2019, the Military Family Research Institute honored Thompson, who has served military and veteran families for over 40 years, by naming its Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award after her.