Position: Former/Retired Director of Family Readiness Policy

Location: Washington, D.C.


Barbara A. Thompson assumed the duties of Director for the Office of Family Readiness Policy within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy in September 2006 and retired in January 2017. As Director, Thompson was responsible for programs and policies that promote military families’ well-being, readiness and quality of life. In this capacity, she had oversight for Department of Defense child development and youth programs, which serve 700,000 children daily at more than 300 locations worldwide.

Thompson had purview over military family readiness programs, including spouse well-being and career advancement, military family lifecycle and transition support, and community capacity building to support geographically dispersed military members and their families. She also had oversight of the Family Advocacy Program and Exceptional Family Member Program. Prior to assuming these duties, Thompson coordinated support programs for severely injured service members and their families and supported the rebuilding of the Ministry of Education in Iraq. She spent 18 years with Air Force family programs, most recently as the Child Development Program and Youth Training and Curriculum Specialist at Air Force Headquarters. During her tenure with the Air Force, Thompson was an integral member of the team that helped more than 98 percent of Air Force child-development programs achieve accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

In 2019, the Military Family Research Institute honored Thompson, who has served military and veteran families for over 40 years, by naming its Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award after her.