Barbara Ferguson Kennedy | National Health Association

Barbara Ferguson Kennedy

Vice President

Barbara currently is the team lead for Cybersecurity and Communications, External Affairs, at the Department of Homeland Security.

With extensive experience in military, international, government and national affairs, Barbara is a reporter by profession and has worked in, and reported from, 46 countries.

During the war in Iraq, Barbara was an embedded war correspondent with the U.S. Marine Corps, while there she translated for her unit and taught U.S. troops there on Arab Culture and Islam.

Her knowledge of the Middle East and its people created the opportunity for Barbara to work as the at the USMC’s Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning, CAOCL; first as a Mideast Subject Matter Expert, and then as their Public Affairs lead.  She is currently an adjunct professor in Media and Communications at Marine Corps University, teaching: “In the Spotlight: Media Bootcamp for Commanders.” She also lectures on Islam at National Defense University.

Barbara previously was the senior editor (English) at Middle East Broadcasting Network, MBN, an Arabic-language news organization that is a non-profit grantee of the U.S. State Department which directly communicates with 25 million people in 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa through television, radio, and digital media.  

A technical researcher at UNESCO before starting her career as a journalist, she worked 16 years as a reporter and bureau chief in Paris, and another two years as a bureau chief in London, England.

Born in Essex, Connecticut, Barbara attended Colorado Women's College and graduated from the University of Minnesota; she continued her graduate work at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, where she learned Arabic.

Barbara serves as vice president on the board of directors of the National Health Association, and is a member of the National Press Club and the Combat Correspondents Association.