Deshauna Barber
Barber at the 2016 USO Gala in Washington, D.C.
Born (1989-12-06) December 6, 1989 (age 32)
Alma materVirginia State University (BS)
University of Maryland University College (MS)
Occupation
  • Beauty pageant titleholder
  • motivational speaker
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Beauty pageant titleholder
TitleMiss District of Columbia USA 2016
Miss USA 2016
Hair colorBlack
Eye colorBrown
Major
competition(s)
Miss USA 2016
(Winner)
Miss Universe 2016
(Top 9)

Deshauna Barber (born December 6, 1989) is an American beauty pageant titleholder, motivational speaker, and captain in the United States Army Reserve.[1] On June 5, 2016, she was crowned Miss USA 2016 by outgoing titleholder Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma.[2] She represented the United States at Miss Universe 2016 where she placed among the top nine finalists.

Early life and education

Barber was born on December 6, 1989, in Columbus, Georgia, to Darren Barber and Cordelia Barber, both military veterans. She was a military brat, moving due to her father's 20-year military career in the Green Berets to North Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.[3] Barber joined the United States Army Reserve at age 17.[4] She attended Virginia State University and graduated with a degree in business management.[5] She is a member of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.[6]

Prior to becoming Miss USA, Barber was commissioned in 2011 and was assigned as a quartermaster officer. She became a logistics commander in the U.S. Army Reserve as a captain,[7] and worked as an IT analyst for the United States Department of Commerce.[8][1][9] She earned her master's degree in management information systems and services from University of Maryland University College.[3] Barber is a member of the Pershing Angels.[10][11]

Pageantry

Barber throws out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium
Barber throws out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium

Barber was crowned Miss District of Columbia USA 2016 on December 19, 2015, by outgoing titleholder Lizzy Olsen. Prior to winning this pageant she had placed in the semi-finalists of the Miss Virginia USA 2010 and Miss District of Columbia USA 2015 pageants and held the Miss Virginia International 2011 title.[10][12][13]

On June 5, 2016, Barber competed in the Miss USA 2016 pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada. She went on to win the competition, beating out first runner-up Chelsea Hardin of Hawaii and second runner-up Emanii Davis from Georgia. She was crowned by outgoing Miss USA, Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma. She was the third Miss District of Columbia USA to win the Miss USA title and the first in fourteen years and also the first African American to win the Miss USA title since Crystle Stewart in 2008.[3] She is the ninth African American to win the competition since its founding. Barber was additionally the first member of the military to win the Miss USA title and declared her intentions to promote veterans issues during her reign.[2][14][15] Barber represented the US at Miss Universe 2016 in Manila where she placed in the top nine.[16] During the national costume competition, she wore a superhero-inspired metallic silver costume complete with a helmet and an eagle-crested shield, which stood for women's empowerment.[17] However the wings of her costume failed to open when she was onstage,[18][19] leaving her sheepishly smiling and tugging on the strings for a while.[20][21]

After completing her reign, Barber later crowned Kára McCullough, also of the District of Columbia, as her successor at the Miss USA 2017 competition on May 14, 2017 held in Las Vegas.[22][23][24]

As of 2020, she is the CEO of Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), an advocacy NGO on women soldiers and veterans. Barber teaches at Howard University.[25] and is also a motivational speaker, focusing on bullying, sexual abuse, and loss, having presented at Google and the Georgetown University[26] and University of Maryland commencement exercises.[27]

References

  1. ^ a b Chen, Joyce (June 5, 2016). "2016 Miss USA: Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber Wins the Crown". US Weekly.
  2. ^ a b Kelly, Cara (June 6, 2016). "Miss District of Columbia absolutely nailed her interview question before winning Miss USA". USA Today. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Heil, Emily (June 6, 2016). "Who is Deshauna Barber, the Miss D.C. who won the Miss USA crown?". Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Yahr, Emily (June 5, 2016). "Miss D.C., a 26-year-old IT analyst and Army officer, wins the Miss USA pageant". Washington Post.
  5. ^ Korsgaard, Sean (June 3, 2016). "VSU grad competes for Miss USA crown". The Progress-Index.
  6. ^ Jones, Maya A. (June 10, 2016). "Deshauna Barber is more than Miss USA, she's #BlackGirlMagic". The Undefeated. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  7. ^ "Meet Miss USA: Army Captain DeShauna Barber | Military Spouse". May 17, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  8. ^ "Miss USA". MUO. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "Army Officer Deshauna Barber Has Been Crowned Miss USA". Time. June 6, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Trojan Beauty". Virginia State University Trojan Warrior Battalion: 18. March 2011.
  11. ^ "Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated". Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2016..
  12. ^ "Miss Virginia International™ 2011". Miss International Pageant Contestant Details. Miss International. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  13. ^ "2010 Miss Contestants". Miss Virginia USA.
  14. ^ "Exclusive: Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber Visits 'GMA'". ABC News. June 7, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  15. ^ Heil, Emily (June 8, 2016). "Miss USA Deshauna Barber is an undecided voter — and a Ben's Chili Bowl 'addict". Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  16. ^ "Miss Universe 2017, in pictures". The Telegraph. January 30, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "12 standout national costumes at Miss Universe 2016 preliminary round". Lifestyle. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "Miss U bets in national costumes: The best, most creative, most hilarious". Lifestyle Inquirer. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  19. ^ "Miss Universe national costume show: Spectacular, outlandish, challenging". CNN Philippines. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  20. ^ "'Wardrobe malfunction' fails to stop 'superhero' Miss USA from showcasing costume". GMA News Online. January 29, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  21. ^ "National Costume of Miss USA Deshauna Barber". Beauty Pageant Updates. January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  22. ^ "Miss DC Wins Miss USA, But Not Everyone Is Happy". Romper.com. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  23. ^ Cox, Lauren (May 14, 2017). "Kara McCullough: Everything You Need To Know About Miss USA 2017". hollywoodlife.com. Hollywood Life.
  24. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (May 14, 2017). "Miss D.C. Kara McCullough Wore Her Naturally Curly Hair For Miss USA 2017 & Fans Are Here For It". bustle.com. Bustle.
  25. ^ "SWAN announces new CEO, Deshauna Barber | Service Women's Action Network". January 13, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  26. ^ "Deshauna Barber | The Harry Walker Agency". Harry Walker Agency. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  27. ^ "Miss USA 2016 and UMUC Graduate Deshauna Barber '15 Speaks at Winter Commencement". alumni.umgc.edu. Retrieved December 17, 2020.

Media related to Deshauna Barber at Wikimedia Commons

Awards and achievements Preceded byLizzy Olsen Miss District of Columbia USA 2016 Succeeded byJasmine Jones Preceded by Olivia Jordan Miss USA 2016 Succeeded by Kára McCullough