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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

William Barr

  • Americans for Victory Over Terrorism: Former Adviser
  • Verizon: Former Vice President (2000-2008)
  • U.S. Attorney General: (1991-1993)

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William Barr, attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, has been an influential conservative political figure since the 1980s. A one-time adviser to William Bennett's Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, Barr first rose to prominence in the conservative network in the late 1980s when he was appointed to a series of posts in the Justice Department. He was on the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Reagan, and served in the Central Intelligence Agency.[1] Barr was appointed as the 77th Attorney General of the United States from 1991 to 1993, reportedly as a result of his ties to Bush’s White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray.[2]

Barr has been associated with a number of right-wing groups, including the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. More recently, Barr served as an advisor to Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, a Claremont Institute-based advocacy group that was founded shortly after the 9/11 attacks to promote an aggressive “war on terror.”

His work as attorney general landed him on Law.com’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers” list. Barr is described as “a longtime leading strategist and advocate for local phone companies in the ever-growing battle over rights to markets; argued Supreme Court case resulting in decision invalidating F.C.C. rules ordering Baby Bells to open up their networks to competitors; leading the battle to preserve open and competitive Internet; attorney general in the Bush administration whose close ties with key members of Congress [who] were considered critical in assuring provisions favorable to GTE in deregulation.”[3]

Barr served as executive vice president and general counsel of Verizon Communications Inc. from 2000 to 2008 and executive vice president and general counsel of GTE from 1994 to 2000.” [4] Mr. Barr is a director of Time Warner Inc., Selected Funds and Dominion. He received his A.B. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and a J.D. degree from George Washington University.


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[1]“Verizon General Counsel William P. Barr Announces Retirement” http://newscenter.verizon.com/press-releases/verizon/2008/verizon-general-counsel.html.

[2] Philip H. Burch, Research in Political Economy: Reagan, Bush, and Right-Wing Politics (Supplement 1, Part A) (Greenwich, Conn.: Jai Press, 1997) pp. 381-382.

[3] “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers”  http://www.law.com/special/professionals/influential/.

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William Barr Résumé


  • American Red Cross: Board of Governors, 1998
  • Columbia University: Recipient of John Jay Award, 1998
  • George Washington University: Recipient of Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, 1994
  • College of William and Mary: Former Board of Visitors Member
  • Americans for Victory Over Terrorism: Former Senior Adviser
  • National Legal Center for the Public Interest: Legal Advisory Council
  • The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty: Advisory Board 
  • University of Virginia, Miller Center of Public Affairs: National Commission on Federal Election Reform, member, 2001; National Commission on the Separation of Powers, member, 1997
  • American Corporate Counsel Association: Signatory to Statement of Principle
  • Federalist Society: Convention Planning Committee, 1987
  • Heritage Foundation: Speaker on lecture program



  • Department of Justice: Attorney General, 1991-1993; Acting Attorney General, 1991; Deputy Attorney General, 1990-1991; Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, 1989-1990
  • Reagan Administration: White House Office of Policy Development, Deputy Assistant Director for Legal Policy, 1982-1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: Law Clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey, 1977-1978
  • Central Intelligence Agency: Analyst, 1973-1976; Assistant Legislative Counsel, 1977



  • Verizon: Former Vice president and General Counsel
  • GTE Corporation: Executive Vice President for Government and Regulatory Advocacy, and General Counsel, 1997-2000; Senior Vice President and General Counsel, 1994-1997
  • Shaw, Pittman, Potts, and Trowbridge Law Firm: Partner, 1993-1994; Partner, 1984-1989; Associate, 1978-1982



  • Columbia University: B.A. in Government, 1971
  • Columbia University: M.A. in Government and Chinese Studies, 1973
  • George Washington University: J.D. (with highest honors), 1977


William Barr News Feed

William Barr: Worse Than Jeff Sessions? - The Nation.Where William Barr, Trump's Pick To Be Next Attorney General, Stands On Immigration - NPR“I Don’t Think He’d be a Shrinking Violet”: Will William Barr Stand Up to Trump? - Vanity FairWilliam Barr, Trump's pick as attorney general, is an immigration hardliner - Washington ExaminerTrump nominates William Barr to be his next attorney general - CNNTrump Will Nominate William Barr as Attorney General - The New York TimesRand Paul says he has concerns about William Barr, Trump’s pick for attorney general - The Washington PostWilliam Barr, Trump's Attorney General Pick, Wanted Government to 'Restrain Sexual Immorality' - The Daily BeastWill William Barr Be Trump’s Roy Cohn? - The New York TimesIn corporate role, William P. Barr clashed with Justice Department that he now seeks to lead - The Washington PostTrump’s new top AG pick would be his daughter’s boss at Justice. - The Washington PostAG pick Barr on presidential investigations (1992) - CNNWhy We Don't Need William Barr (V2.0) as Attorney General - Crime ReportManafort, China Trade, William Barr: Your Friday Evening Briefing - The New York TimesWilliam Barr, Trump's attorney general pick used Guantanamo Bay to hold thousands of Haitian refugees - CBS NewsDon't get distracted by Barr nomination. Whitaker is still a big problem at Justice. - USA TODAYTrump Tried to Hire Barr as Top Defense Lawyer Months Before Tapping him for AG: Report - The Daily BeastReturn Of William Barr As Attorney General Could Impact Telecom Merger - Investor's Business DailyIs Trump's New Attorney General Nominee Just Another Jeff Sessions? - The Nation.LATEST: Trump to nominate William Barr for attorney general - WSFA

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