Become a Member Today

Roundtable Emerging Leaders Q&A

As part of a series of Q&As spotlighting a member of the Emerging Leaders, Emmett Walsh — Internal Sales Consultant at Salient Partners and membership chair for the RYP advisory committee — talked about why he joined a young professionals group at the Baker Institute:

walsh.jpgWhat drew you to the Baker Institute and the Emerging Leaders?

I recently graduated from the Jones School and wanted to stay involved. I had taken an energy economics class taught by Kenneth Medlock, a fellow and senior director at the Center for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute. I also took Bill Arnold’s “Geopolitics of Energy” course at the Jones School and realized I wanted to stay as informed as possible about developments in energy both domestically and globally going forward. The Baker Institute Roundtable Young Professionals is the best way for me to achieve that goal.

How does your Emerging Leader membership benefit your job or career?

It benefits me tremendously. I sell master limited partnership (MLP) investments, so getting to see Medlock speak about the current market allows me to be ahead of the curve. Reading his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business from June 17, 2015, helped me articulate the different forces at play regarding the future of American energy to clients during a tumultuous market. I consider Baker Institute events continuing education for my career.

What has been your favorite program or event at the Baker Institute?

“The Vietnam War: 50 Years On.” It was our latest event, and it seems every “last event” we have or that I attend is my favorite. The Vietnam event was so memorable because of the caliber of writers on the panel — Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo, Larry Heinemann and Tobias Wolff. Those four combine for a Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Awards and a National Medal of Arts — and a whole lot more! To have them all in the same room was truly incredible and a testament to the hard work Mike Freedman has done as the leader of the Roundtable Young Professionals.

What do you feel is the number one policy issue of our time in the U.S.?

Economic inequality. The rich getting richer and the poor staying poor. It’s never beneficial to have such a huge income inequality gap. It creates different political incentives and career politicians.

What makes Houston such a great place for young professionals?

The people are fantastic. There’s an air of optimism in Houston that doesn’t exist anywhere else I’ve lived.





The Baker Institute Roundtable Young Professionals is a membership group dedicated to the institute’s mission of bridging the world of ideas and the world of action. Through a variety of social and informational events, the institute connects members to policy leaders while offering networking opportunities and engaging current and future supporters.

Read more

Most Recent Event

The Baker Institute Roundtable and Roundtable Young Professionals hosted a special Veterans Day celebration featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Robert Olen Butler and Bruce Weigl. 




Roundtable Young Professionals
Advisory Committee


Michael Woodrum

Membership Chair Membership Vice-Chair  

Emmett Walsh

Sean Cowan   
Marketing/PR Chair Marketing/PR Vice-Chairs  

Stephanie Linder

Mikhail Alekseenko, Beverly Barrett and Philip Gunn

Ben Ahn
Jimmy Battista
Justin Clark
Mariana Diez
Danny Fields
Mike Freedman
Nick Huber
Brian Ivany
Justin Jackson

Jonathan Kalaher
Milessa Lowrie
Brett Magill
Chris Mersinger 
Lauren Thompson Miller
Steven Panagiotou
T. Paresh Patel
Josh Prueher
Jill Thompson Shull

Steven Sultzbaugh
Jason Starnes
Timothy Stephenson
Michael Tatz
Leticia Vega
Michael T. Walsh
Scott Weaver
Summer Worden