Bakers endow Françoise and Edward Djerejian Baker Institute Fellow

The Honorable James A. Baker, III, 61st U.S. Secretary of State, and Susan G. Baker have generously established an endowed fellowship to honor the work of Edward Djerejian, the founding director of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, and his wife, Françoise.

Recognizing the importance of the Baker Institute’s Mexico Center, the Djerejians directed the endowment to Tony Payan, director of the Baker Institute Mexico Center, as the first Françoise and Edward Djerejian Baker Institute Fellow.

“When Susan and I proposed to Ambassador Djerejian and Françoise to consider coming to Houston to lead the Baker Institute for Public Policy, none of us could have then foreseen its meteoric rise to become one of the top public policy think tanks globally," Baker said. "Ed and Françoise's long and distinguished foreign service career and their experience, level of dedication, vision, commitment and team effort have contributed in large part to our unparalleled success, and Susan and I could not be prouder to honor their work.”

Payan will lead a policy study group composed of fellows and scholars from the Baker Institute and from leading institutions in Mexico. He will focus the Mexico Center's crucial research on policy issues facing the U.S.-Mexico relationship, including border, trade, energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, migration, education, health, security and rule of law issues.

“Our endowed fellowship cements U.S.-Mexico policy expertise at the Baker Institute for Public Policy,” Djerejian said. “Our proximity to Mexico affords us a privileged position to achieve the ambitious goal we have set for ourselves -- namely, to establish the Baker Institute for Public Policy's Mexico Center as the pre-eminent source of findings on the study of U.S.-Mexico relations. In keeping with the Baker Institute's commitment with respect to all of its activities, we intend to influence the highest level of policymaking of both the United States and Mexico governments.”

“I’m deeply grateful to Secretary and Mrs. Baker for endowing the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Baker Institute Fellow, and to Ambassador and Mrs. Djerejian for providing me with the opportunity to conduct important and meaningful research at the Baker Institute for Public Policy,” Payan said. “Both are incredible honors.”

Payan received his doctoral degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 2001. His work theorizes on various topics regarding international borders, including border governability, foreign policy attitudes on the border and the manifestation of U.S. foreign policy at its borders. He has authored two books, “Cops, Soldiers and Diplomats: Understanding Agency Behavior in the War on Drugs” and “The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security,” in addition to numerous book chapters and academic articles. He joined the Baker Institute staff in 2012.