Judith Barnett

Lawyer/international trade consultant specializing in the Middle East, former senior government official and law professor

Judith Barnett began The Barnett Group, L.L.C. in 2003 to provide international trade and overseas government relations consulting services for global companies, specializing in the Middle East. Ms. Barnett provides strategic advice and implementation for companies interested in opening global markets, ending barriers to trade, and expanding opportunities. Before consulting, Ms. Barnett served as a senior trade official in the Clinton Administration, practiced as a corporate lawyer and litigator, an adjunct law professor for eight years at Georgetown Law Center, a public affairs specialist and speechwriter in the Carter Administration (U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Trade Commission), and a writer. In addition to her consulting practice, Ms. Barnett was appointed to the State Department’s Advisory Committee for International Economic Policy and the Board of Amideast, and has been named by the Financial Times as one of the “Top 100 Board Candidates with Global Skills.”

Ms. Barnett began her current trade practice after serving in the Clinton Administration from October 1993 to December 1998. Her first position in the Administration was in the U.S. Department of Commerce as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Development, International Trade Administration. In ITA/ TD, Ms. Barnett worked with the Assistant Secretary to manage an Office of 400 persons and a budget of $ 49 million. During her tenure at Trade Development, she oversaw the only US government agency that represents industry sectors, managed 22 private sector advisory committees, created and developed the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission, and established the Advocacy Center.

Ms. Barnett then served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for the Middle East and Africa, U.S. Department of Commerce. As the DAS, she was responsible for activities and programs in 68 countries, including bilateral and multilateral trade matters, creating and implementing regional projects and programs, and advocating for the selection of US companies. She was the senior Commerce official working with the State Department responsible for trade/ commercial activities associated with the Middle East Peace Process.

In law practice before re-entering the government in the Clinton Administration (1986 to 1993), Ms. Barnett worked in various aspects of corporate law and litigation. During that time, Ms. Barnett served for eight years as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. Before entering the law profession, Ms. Barnett served in the Carter and Reagan Administrations in public affairs and speech writing at the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Education. She has written articles for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, The Daily Beast, Vogue magazine and has been a media commentator on CNN, BBC, and numerous international television programs. Ms. Barnett lives in Washington and has one daughter, a son-in-law, and two adorable granddaughters.