Heather M. Barry
Vice President of Business Affairs
Masters of Public Administration (Public Policy) | The Evergreen State College Bachelor of Arts, Communications (Public Relations) | University of Washington Local and State Executive Program | Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
Hickenlooper for President Hickenlooper for Senate Rhonda Fields for State Representative/Senate Biden for President London Breed for Mayor
Colorado State Transportation Commissioner, Term expired 2017 Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair Airport Minority Advisory Board Foundation Chair Jack and Jill of America, Foundation Chair The Links, Denver Chapter, Health and Human Services Committee, Co-chair Airport Council International, Committee Member Airport Minority Advisory Board, Member Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Member Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Member Adams Colorado Democratic Party, Member
Having served as a Colorado Department of Transportation Commissioner for 10 years, I have a proven record as a problem solver and bridge builder. My work as a Commissioner required me to be a critical thinker, fair and balanced leader and a strategic forward-thinking visionary. My work required me to work with a 11-member, state-wide commission with members who represented districts of the entire state of Colorado. In my time as a Commissioner, I spent time in every county of our beautiful State and have comprehensive understanding of our state’s differences and similarities. I worked to manage limited resources and public and private partnerships focusing on key projects and budget balancing with integrity and commitment to the State of Colorado. Beyond my work on the Transportation Commission, I served as an appointee to Denver Mayors Michael B. Hancock, Guillermo “Bill” Vidal and John Hickenlooper where I held the positions of Director of Government Affairs, Director of Legislative Services, Director of Neighborhood Relations and City Council Liaison, respectively. In my work with the City, I worked very closely through several public input processes and understand consensus building, discerning methodology, and am comfortable working with various stakeholders and communities of interest.
I would like to serve on the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission because I am passionate about making a difference in my community and for the citizens of Colorado. My journey has taught me that now, more than ever, it is important for our communities to work together through engagement to protect our democratic process. I served as a State of Colorado Transportation Commissioner, a non-partisan, gubernatorial appointment for ten years. My work on the Commission required a pragmatic approach to problem solving through meaningful, transparent processes. My personal and professional experiences have provided me with a strong knowledge and understanding of how to be a critical thinker, strong communicator and bridge builder to achieve consensus on issues. This Commission will be responsible for some of the State’s most important work of the decade—ensuring that our voting districts are reflective of their communities and ensuring equal access to political representation which is the bedrock of our Country. I would be honored to be part of such an important Commission.
As a Colorado Department of Transportation Commissioner, I solicited input from stakeholder groups from 5 counties and 7 municipalities through a collaborative approach. Through monthly meetings with elected officials and citizens throughout the corridor, I successfully gained consensus in contentious public settings that included public hearings, large group presentations and open houses. The US 36 Highway expansion project, a project that added 18 miles of new road, infrastructure improvements, bus rapid transit, a corridor-wide bikeway, high occupancy toll lanes and improvements to the general purpose lanes, culminated with a highly contentious public-private transaction for the HOV expansion and maintenance. This was a very challenging project as the community was very divided as it spanned the entire US 36 Corridor and included five counties and seven municipalities. I never wavered in my commitment to stay engaged by employing logic and reason to the problem. I stayed fair and impartial and kept the lines of communication open through monthly meetings hosted by a city or county to ensure alignment and open communication throughout the project. I strongly believe that being fair and impartial is a principle of our justice system and that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than influence, bias or prejudice. My work as a Commissioner seeking approval for a project that required both jurisdictional and federal support required us to lead decisions based on clear criteria and data to ensure we were making a good decision for the community.
I have worked on several multidisciplinary projects that require logic and reason. Each year as a Colorado Department of Transportation Commissioner, I worked with my peers to develop a comprehensive state-wide budget that was sent to the Colorado State House and then to the Governor for approval. Developing such a budget required a balanced approach with strong communication skills to articulate one’s position. Annually, I worked with my peers to approve a multi-billion dollar Transportation budget. The process took several months, requiring a comprehensive understanding of the Department and its needs. As a Commission, we had to formulate the need of the Department to create accountability, through accountability, develop controls through budget formulation, oversight, execution and approval.