The Director's Welcome

As an integral part of Rice University, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is dedicated to lending a meaningful voice to domestic and foreign policy issues through its research and programs, which bring together both scholars from academia and practitioners from the public, private and nongovernmental organization sectors.

The Baker Institute is ranked consistently as a leading global think tank. Our location and Rice University affiliation provide a strong comparative advantage, and we further integrated with Rice's faculty by inviting professors in areas such as science, economics and the humanities to join the institute as Baker Institute Rice scholars.

At the dawn of our third decade, we have expanded on the achievements of the past 20 years by creating three research centers to address key issue areas:

  • The Center for Energy Studies, led by Kenneth B. Medlock III, Ph.D., encompasses a team of fellows, scholars and researchers that analyzes policy issues related to oil and gas, electricity, environmental regulation and geopolitics.
  • The Center for the Middle East furthers the institute's Conflict Resolution Program on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as well as its work on the crisis in Syria, the Gulf states, and gender and human rights in the region.
  • The Mexico Center, led by Tony Payan, Ph.D., studies the critical elements of U.S.-Mexico relations — trade, energy, infrastructure, health and security — through collaborations between researchers on both sides of the border. 

The institute's work in other research areas is growing as well. The Health Policy Forum continues to have a local and national impact with the health economics work of Vivian Ho, Ph.D., and Dr. John Mendelsohn's study of personalized medicine. Dr. Peter Hotez's renowned research and advocacy to eradicate neglected tropical diseases adds a global component to the program.

We are pleased to be expanding our young professionals groups, the Emerging Leaders and Associate Roundtable, through networking events and discussions with the institute's fellows and scholars on issues ranging form drug policy and Mexican cartels to international trade and Texas politics. 

None of our achievements would be possible without the strong support of our friends and donors, to whom I express my most sincere gratitude. We welcome your interest and participation in the work of the institute.


Edward P. Djerejian
Founding Director