Didi Barrett has been a homeowner and active member of the Millbrook community for 23 years and her family roots in New York’s 41st Senate District go back more than seven decades. The farm in Columbia County bought by her grandfather and great uncle in 1938 is still in the family today. Didi and her husband David, a lawyer who grew up in the Hudson Valley, have two children — Alec and Annabel.
For more than two decades, Didi has been a leader in the not-for-profit community. She is a member of the board of the Millbrook Education Foundation, which supports the public schools, and for the past two years has been the coordinator for Millbrook’s Community Day. She is the organizing force behind a new Dutchess Girls Collaborative which is bringing together local program providers and supporters to share resources and better serve girls throughout Dutchess County. She helped launch the North East Dutchess Fund (NED) of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, an organization committed to improving the quality of life for residents of the six towns of northeastern Dutchess County, and serves on its board. She spearheaded the pioneering NED Corps program, created with Dutchess Community Action Partnership, which is bringing much-needed social services to this rural region.
A longtime advocate for women and girls, Didi is the founding Board Chair of Girls Incorporated of NYC, a widely respected youth development program that empowers girls ages 8 to 18. Didi was also a founder and board member of the New York Women’s Foundation and a board leader for 16 years at Planned Parenthood.
Politically active since her high school days, Didi serves on the Executive Committee of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee. She has served on the boards of the Women’s Campaign Fund; NARAL-NY; and the finance committees for both Senator Chuck Schumer and formerly Congresswoman and now Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. In 2007, Didi was part of the first Democratic slate in a century to run in the Republican- dominated Town of Washington. Despite an inactive town Democratic committee and a late start, the team won nearly 45% of the vote.
A passionate supporter of the arts, Didi was Director of Publications at the American Folk Art Museum, editor and publisher of the museum’s quarterly magazine and is a Trustee Emeritus of the museum’s board. She is a consultant to Half Moon Theatre, a four year old Hudson Valley-based professional theater company.
Didi is a former journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, and other publications.