While many Frankfort residents remember her as the hostess or waitress at China Wok — the local restaurant owned by her parents, Laura and Kenneth Yue — where she spent much of her childhood, Jennifer Yue Barber has been making a name for herself ever since.
As a young Louisville tax lawyer in 2011, Barber was named to Business First’s 40 under 40 list, and on Monday, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate her as a representative of the U.S. on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. She would hold the rank of ambassador and alternate representative of the U.S. to the sessions of the General Assembly of the UN.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to praise Barber’s selection as “a strong choice.”
“Jennifer’s record of encouraging economic opportunity in Kentucky will serve her well as she works to help advance cooperation, development and prosperity throughout the international community,” he said in a statement.
“I’m grateful Jennifer has chosen to serve our country and I’m especially glad to know she’ll join fellow Kentuckian U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft, in advancing our strategic interests and values on the world stage.”
Barber is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC, a law firm focusing on state and local tax, economic incentives and government affairs. She serves on the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees.
She is also a member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Tax Working Group and Litigation Committee and the American and Kentucky bar associations, where she serves on numerous committees. Barber also serves as a member of the local advisory board for United States Bank and on the Kentucky State Fair Board.
Barber is a 2001 graduate of Franklin County High School and earned bachelor of science and law degrees from the University of Kentucky. She clerked in the Office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Even though she has gone far in life, Barber is still known to tie on an apron at the family restaurant every now and then.
During an interview with The State Journal a few years ago, Barber said, "Not a single person doesn't say to me, 'I remember when you were 3 or 5 ... .' These people literally watched me grow up."