On Nov. 10, 2009, the Baker Institute honored Houston Texans owner Robert C. McNair at a black-tie dinner where he received the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership.
The prize recognizes nationally and internationally renowned leaders for their excellence in public service and civic life, be it through achievements in government, business, science, education or philanthropy. Previous recipients are The Honorable Charles W. Duncan, Jr., and Gen. Colin L. Powell.
Since coming to Houston more than 40 years ago, McNair and his wife Janice have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to public service and civic life.
At the Baker Institute, it"s difficult to overstate the importance of the McNairs" generosity and leadership. From the very beginning, their strong support has played a key role in the institute"s development and expansion.
The couple endowed the Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy, which today is held by our founding director, The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian, and shared former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III's vision of a world-class public policy think tank. It's no exaggeration to say that without the McNairs" commitment, there might not be a Baker Institute today.
"Bob and Janice understood the importance to Houston as an international city have a first-class public policy institute that could bridge the world of ideas and action," Mr. Baker said.