Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett is a 1989 graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in History where she received her commission from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in a ceremony aboard USS Constitution. She holds Masters of Arts in Management, National Security/Strategic Studies, and Human Resources Development. She has also earned a Master of Science in Information Management.

Her operational assignments include tours at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet; commander, 2nd Fleet, Carrier Strike Group Two, Multi-National Forces Iraq, Carrier Strike Group 12, which included deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Unified Response in Haiti; Standing Joint Force Headquarters United States Pacific Command; and deputy director of current operations at U.S. Cyber Command.

Shore assignments included tours at Naval Computer and Telecommunications Stations in Jacksonville, Cecil Field and Puerto Rico; senior Navy fellow at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association; Allied Commander Atlantic Systems Support Center Norfolk, Naval Personnel Command, Chief of Naval Operations Task Force Web; commanding officer, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic; and chief of staff, Navy Information Forces Command.

Barrett is the Navy Cyber Security Division director.

Her personal awards include Defense Superior Service Medal and other military decorations, Copernicus Awards 1998, 2000 and 2005; Naval Institute Command, Control, Computers and Communication writing award; Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Award, first place individual category 2006; Federal 100 winner 2010; Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Women in Leadership Award 2014; Women in Technology Leadership Award 2017.

She has published 29 articles.