220: Rick Barton and Kit Lunney—Can We Bring Peace To The World Today?

Hear how real peace can be accomplished in the world

I had the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Rick Barton when he was Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He joins us on the podcast today to share with you his perspective on how to bring peace to the world — not a simple subject. Joining him is his very successful wife, Kathryn (Kit) Lunney. Together they share their perspectives on their journeys throughout the world trying to understand conflicts and find ways to bring people together to end them. This is truly one you do not want to miss.

Peace starts with a willingness to understand both sides of a conflict

As Ambassador Barton tells us, the only way you will really know about conflict is to be there and see it with your own eyes, listen to people tell you their stories, and try to help them craft new stories that might reduce their pain, eleviate their hatred for others, and meliorate the horrifying results that come from the failure of peace. The work he describes in our podcast will help you realize how important it is for us all to work toward peace and find ways to stop the pain that separates us.

rick barton bookIn his book, Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World,”  Ambassador Barton states that “leadership is most likely to be effective if there is a sincere effort to develop a common understanding of what is most important, a clear set of priority actions, an integrated team, independent measures of progress and tireless communication. Over the past twenty years, I worked in 40-plus countries, always finding local people and opportunities to catalyze progress. When you expand trust, seek innovation, and encourage ingenuity, risk-taking is rewarded.”

About Rick Barton and Kit Lunney

Rick BartonFrederick D. (Rick) Barton currently teaches at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where, with his wife, Kit Lunney, he serves as Co-Director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) and the Richard H. Ullman Fellowship. His 2018 book,Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World,uses a mix of stories, history and analysis to offer an affirmative approach to foreign affairs through concrete and attainable solutions.

Ambassador Barton was the U.S. ambassador to the UN’s Economic and Social Council, the UN’s Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, and the first Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. He founded USAID’s (U.S. Agency for International Development) Office of Transition Initiatives and has led conflict management initiatives in over 40 crisis zones across the globe, including Haiti, Iraq, Nigeria, Burma, Pakistan and Turkey. His articles are published in numerous international outlets and he is a frequent guest on news broadcasts, ranging from NPR to all of the major networks. He now resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife of 44 years, Kit Lunney. You can contact Rick at barton@princeton.edu.

Kathryn R. (Kit) Lunney, with her husband, Ambassador Rick Barton, is Co-Director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) and the Richard H. Ullman Fellowship at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Previously, Kit was the first state court planner for Maine’s judicial system, an intergovernmental relations officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and deputy general counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As co-leader of Book Relief, First Book’s response to the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, Kit worked with the U.S. Department of Education, state and local governments, and hundreds of nonprofits and individuals to deliver 5 million new books to more than 2,200 groups and organizations in 20 states impacted by the storms. In the private sector, Lunney worked as counsel to two technology companies in Maine. Most recently, she was COO of and then a consultant to Smith Dawson & Andrews, a government and public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. You can contact Kit at klunney@princeton.edu.

Want more stories about people changing the world? Here are three:

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