Allison Barber, Ph.D

Chancellor, Western Governors University Indiana
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications, U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Allison Barber is the chancellor of WGU Indiana, the state’s online, competency-based university. She champions college attainment for working Hoosiers who have some college but have not yet earned a degree. WGU Indiana also offers advanced degrees in business, education, health profession and technology.

An Indiana native, Allison’s portfolio includes more than 25 years of experience in education and public service. Prior to her position at WGU Indiana, Allison was the president of her own strategic communications firm in the Washington, D.C. area. She was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching in the master’s program for Public Relations and Corporate Communications

Allison spent more than seven years at the Department of Defense. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications and Public Liaison. In this position, she was responsible for the Department’s worldwide communications to the men and women of the military, and for community relations programs that linked citizens to members of the Armed Forces at home and abroad. Allison worked to establish the Pentagon Channel, created the New Media division for the Pentagon, and provided oversight to the Defense Media Center, Armed Forces Radio and Television, and Stars and Stripes newspaper. She was also responsible for national programs that protect and enhance the morale of the military members and their families.

Allison worked at the White House during the early stages of the war in Afghanistan and again during the buildup phase of the war in Iraq. She helped create the Office of Global Communications, which provided a coordinated communication effort for the Administration.

In her work in the public and private sectors, Allison has initiated strategic corporate partnerships, launched national campaigns, created new media platforms, and engaged in international programs

Earlier experience: Allison was President of the Washington D.C. office of PlowShare, a Connecticut-based advertising agency. Before that, she was Public Relations Director for the American Red Cross. Allison began her career as a grade school teacher at Merrillville Public School in Indiana and served as Vice President of the Teachers Association.

Allison serves on the TechPoint and Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation boards. She also volunteers the Elizabeth Dole Military Caregivers Foundation, Operation Homefront and other civic causes

Education: Allison holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Tennessee Temple University, a M.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Leadership from Tennessee Temple University.