Barbara Cates joined the board as secretary in 2010. She was part of the original team of researchers behind Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community, and trained as a discerner in 1997. Barbara spent seven months at the Taizé Community in France after graduating from Princeton University in 1980. She joined Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore upon her return and has been an active member ever since. In 1989 she joined the U.S. Foreign Service as an economics officer, and has been posted to Moscow, USSR; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and Yekaterinburg, Russia. Barbara recently completed a three-year assignment at the State Department as Deputy Director of the Office of International Religious Freedom. Currently she is assigned to the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, coordinating environmental policy with the Middle East and South and Central Asia.
Barbara has twice served on her church vestry, leads the singing at Memorial’s weekly Taizé prayer service, and maintains an ecumenical connection with Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, where she is a deacon and sings in the choir. She completed Education for Ministry (EfM) in the 1990s and has recently repeated the second and third years of the program, driven by a desire to go more deeply into the New Testament.