Barbara grew up in Biddeford. She earned a Master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Southern Maine.
After stints as a lobsterwoman, woodworker and newspaper editor, Barbara joined MPBN in 1989. She left in 1994 to learn about television at WCSH6-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland. In 1999, Barbara began producing, reporting and anchoring the MPBN television public affairs program, MaineWatch. She returned to radio in 2003, and now oversees news content for MPBN.net.
Barbara’s interests include music and theater. For several years, she sang in a local jazz group called !zing, and currently serves on the board of South Portland's Mad Horse Theatre Company.
Barbara has a daughter, who is an opera singer.