• Ab., Universidad San Buenaventura, Cali, Colombia
  • LL.M., St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Studied at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia; University of Texas at San Antonio; Harvard University


  • SPAN 1312
  • SPAN 2312


Selene S. Barba is the founder and President of Semper Lingua LLC.  Her passion for languages started at an early age. A world traveler, Barba practiced Law for many years in her native Colombia, where she attended the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the San Buenaventura University. She then studied at St. Mary’s University School of Law, where she also served as a Consultant for the Center for Terrorism Law, getting to visit numerous universities around the world and interpreting for the center’s founder and other senior lecturers at military academies in South America. Barba also has Linguistics, Leadership and e-Learning studies at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), Harvard University and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Barba worked as a U.S. Army Civilian for 12+ years at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, the biggest foreign language teaching and learning institution in the world. During this time, she distinguished herself for her exceptional love for the military culture, her leadership and her desire to serve the country. She received numerous Commandant’s and Provost’s Coins of Excellence awards, as well as written and public recognition from different government agencies. During her career as an educator, she was exposed to new dimensions of language training, language curriculum design and language proficiency assessments. In her earlier years at the Institute, as an assistant professor, she led several teams of instructors, contributed to the modernization of curricula and coached a great number of educators. She authored several language courses that were praised and accredited by the American Council of Education (ACE). After a few years, she was promoted to associate professor and became the director of the San Antonio language training detachment. During this time, she guided a multidisciplinary and multicultural team with remarkable results and a great impact on the language-preparedness of Department of Defense students, both civilian and military.

Barba, deeply understanding the modern world and the importance of languages in both the private and public sectors, decided to form Semper Lingua to contribute to a better-prepared government workforce and serve the country by generating jobs. Semper Lingua is now part of the country’s productive system that nurtures the economy. She currently leads language projects with the U.S. Army, Air Force and Secretary of State, among others. Barba also collaborates with companies in curriculum development for Foreign Area Officers (FAOs), improving online resources for the DoD personnel and increasing their level of proficiency with foreign languages.

Barba has been a presenter at many conferences and universities, including Georgetown University and LEARN conferences, sponsored by the Foreign Language Program Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Cryptologic School, as well at the Air Force University Culture and Language Center Symposium (AU LREC). She is currently writing a book about the cultural and historical aspects of the Magdalena region in Colombia during the 1940s. 

Barba is a mother, a spouse, a daughter and a grandmother of 3 beautiful boys who are already learning the beauty of learning languages.

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