After practicing law for over 33 years, Adjunct Professor Richard L. Barnes gave up his practice to devote his time and talent to public policy advocacy as the full-time Volunteer Government Relations Manager and lobbyist for the American Lung Association of Oklahoma (ALAO) from December 1997 to June 30, 2004. He was responsible for all of the public policy advocacy activities of ALAO on tobacco control and other public health issues.
He is a past Chair of the Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco, a partnership of 33 voluntary public health organizations, healthcare professional associations, healthcare provider organizations, ethnic organizations and children’s and seniors’ advocacy groups, along with numerous community coalitions, that led the successful campaign for smokefree workplaces and public places legislation in 2003 and continues to be an effective force for change today.
He served on the Oklahoma Governor’s Task Force on Tobacco and Youth and on the Oklahoma Governor’s Task Force on Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation. From its inception in 2001 through March, 2004, he was a member of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee on Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation created by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2000.
He has won numerous awards in recognition of his leadership and skills in public policy advocacy, and has used his extensive advocacy experiences to train others in successful public health policy advocacy methodologies. He teaches a public policy advocacy course at UCSF that is taken by students in the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, and Dentistry.
He has been a researcher at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE) since July 1, 2004, and completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the CTCRE in 2006. His research of the tobacco industry documents in the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library during the Fellowship resulted in two published peer-reviewed journal articles. His projects at the CTCRE since completing the Fellowship have included mentoring other researchers, and researching and writing state tobacco control activity reports that explore the reasons for the successes, and the failures, of state tobacco control programs and tobacco control policy advocacy efforts. He is also involved in the Smoke Free Movies initiative of the CTCRE that advocates keeping smoking out of youth rated movies, as smoking on screen is a significant recruiter of new adolescent smokers.