Barbara Murik Chesman was born in the Schlachtenzee Displaced Persons Camp in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her parents, Abraham and Lisa Murik (nee Davidowicz) both survived the horrors of the Holocaust and emigrated from Germany to the United States in March of 1949.
The family settled here in Washington, DC where Mrs. Chesman attended Wheatley Elementary School, the Hebrew Academy of Washington, and Western High School (now Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts). She later attended the University of Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics in May of 1968.
While at college, Mrs. Chesman started working part-time for the Department of State in the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the Passport Office. Following graduation, Mrs. Chesman became a full time employee of the Department of State in August of 1968 in the Office of Passport Services. She met her future husband Bernard Chesman in May of 1971 and they were married June 4, 1972 at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Washington, DC. Immediately following their marriage, they moved to Atlanta Georgia for 7 months, but decided to return to Washington in January 1973 where Mrs. Chesman resumed her career in the Passport Office.
Mrs. Chesman has held many positions in almost every part of the Office of Passport Services but her most notable achievement came in June of 1994, when the Special Issuance Agency (the passport agency which handles all passports for the Federal government) was made a separate entity and she was named Director. Currently, Mrs. Chesman serves in that position today.
Mrs. Chesman and her husband have two beautiful children, Geoff, 27, a successful photographer and website specialist in Rockville, Maryland and Erika, 20, a student majoring in dance education at Montgomery College also in Rockville, Maryland. They live in Silver Spring, Maryland with their daughter and Lisa Murik, Mrs. Chesman's mother. They are very active in their synagogue, Beth Sholom Congregation, in Potomac, Maryland where Mrs. Chesman has been serving as President of the Sisterhood since 1996.