Riley M. Barnes is a nonresident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. He oversaw the Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and the Office of International Conferences. In this role, he was responsible for advancing the United States’ human rights priorities in multilateral institutions and ensuring that the American people were represented at multilateral conferences and meetings around the world.
Previously, Barnes served as senior advisor to Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, and as senior speechwriter for the Secretary and member of the policy planning staff. Before joining the Department, Barnes served as senior speechwriter to then-Senate Majority Whip, John Cornyn, of Texas. Prior to government service, he served at the Atlantic Council as an Assistant Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and as a policy advisor at Akin Gump.
Originally from Uvalde, Texas, Barnes holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics from Washington and Lee University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.