2020 is off to an amazing start in the pageant world! New year, means new goals and news bags to secure. Congratulations are in order for former Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, who made a career move as the President and CEO of the nation’s leading 501c3, Service Women’s Action Network or SWAN. She announced the news via social media on Wednesday.
SWAN’s mission is “support, connect, and advocate for service women-past, present, and future.” Their vision is to eventually become the United States’ largest and most influential network of service women, working to advance their rights and pave the way for future growth.
In order to shine more light on Service Women’s Action Network, Deshauna explained to her following she see this position as “advocating on behalf of all service women and women veterans.” As an army reserve captain herself, this organization means a lot to her, raving about SWAN saying, “this organization has an amazing history of being bold and direct about the needs of all service women and women veterans.”
SWAN plays a huge role in helping military women conquer the issues they come across by offering reproductive health services, hold sex offenders accountable in the military justice system and works to eliminates these barriers military members face with their disability claims after experiencing sexual trauma.
Growing up, Deshauna was known as a “military brat” since both of her parents served in the military for over 20 years. This meant over the course of her parents’ careers, they moved several times often within only a few weeks notice. At just 17, Deshauna decided to enlist in the United States Army Reserve. During her years, she rose through the ranks to become an Army Captain. Currently she is the logistics commander in the United States Army Reserve.
Deshauna was crowned Miss USA 2016, in June 2016. She made history that night being the first woman to win who was serving as active duty. She place top 9 at the 2016 Miss Universe competition. During her reign, she used her crown to promote and raise awareness about veteran issues, specifically post-traumatic stress disorders. She launched an international speaking career following her reign. One of her talking points, is discussing sexual abuse as a survivor of child sexual abuse herself. Her commencement address, The 5 Steps Glory, delivered at her alma mater Virginia State University, went viral reaching millions of people online.
Service Women’s Action Network was founded in 2007. According to their website, it’s one of the only groups which advocates and supports the needs of both service women and women veterans.
Prior to accepting this new CEO position for Service Women’s Action Network, Deshauna was interviewed several times throughout the course of the 3-month-long hiring process. She felt incredibly blessed to be able to take on the position. “I am so thankful to be a part of it’s history,” Deshauna said, “I look forward to the lives that will be impacted during my tenure as President of this organization!”