Barbara Ford

Barbara J. Ford

Alumna Appointed to U.S. National Commission for UNESCO

June 2, 2011

Bloomington, Ill.-- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has appointed Barbara J. Ford, director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and a professor at the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to the United States National Commission for UNESCO.

Ford, class of 1968, will serve a three-year term and represent the American Library Association (ALA), of which she is past-president.

"I am honored to serve my country in this capacity,” said Ford. “UNESCO objectives include attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning; fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace; and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication. Libraries can play very important roles in these issues and connect other individuals and organizations working in these areas and I am pleased to be able to assist with this on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO."

The National Commission consists of 100 members who assist with global initiatives focused on communication, education, social science, natural science and culture. The Commission serves as a Federal advisory committee to the U.S. Government through the Department of the State. It works with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization, founded in 1945 to eradicate poverty, sustain development and promote an intercultural dialogue of peace.

"Professor Ford's appointment reflects recognition of her tremendous expertise, experience, and leadership," said Eric Woodard, Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. "Given her exemplary work in teaching, research and public service in the international arena, she will be a valuable addition to the Commission."

Ford received a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in international relations from Tufts University’s School of Law and Diplomacy and another master’s in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was president of the ACRL, a division of ALA, from 1990 to 1991. From 1997 to 1998 Ford retained presidency of the ALA and created the theme “Libraries: Global Reach, Local Touch.” In 1998 she was chosen for Illinois Wesleyan’s Distinguished Alumna Award.

For additional information regarding Ford’s appointment, contact Heather Murphy, University of Illinois’ assistant director of Advancement for Publications and Public Affairs, at (217) 333-3758 or

Visit for more information about the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. A complete list of members is located at

Contact: Sherry Wallace, (309) 556-3181