At a time when our nation and the world face major challenges and debates assail our institutions, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is more relevant than ever. Our steady commitment to our comparative advantage enables us to lend a respected voice to key domestic and foreign policy issues.
Thus it is with much satisfaction that I report to you on the wealth of accomplishments during 2017. The institute featured prominent speakers, research workshops and conferences. We launched a new Center for Public Finance to address national and local tax and fiscal policy and an innovative program to study presidential elections. We recruited fellows in energy, health and drug policy, and we developed new research agendas. Our engagement with Rice students is solidly established with the opportunities we offer them through internships and with the numerous courses taught by our fellows, including our Master of Global Affairs program. Last but not least, the institute is fully committed to Rice University’s post-Harvey recovery policies.
Looking forward, our center and program directors were tasked with defining a five-year roadmap for the institute's research, which I am pleased to report was approved by our Board of Advisors.
2018 will mark the Baker Institute's 25th anniversary commemoration around the theme "A Quarter of a Century – Making History." Our goal is to lay a strong foundation for the institute's next 25 years with a series of programs and events that will culminate with a gala in the fall. We very much hope to celebrate this important milestone with you.
We can all be proud to have built an institute that is ranked as one of the very top university-affiliated think tanks in the world and that impacts on our nation’s policy discourse. Allow me to express my profound gratitude to you, the members of our Board of Advisors, donors, researchers, students, staff and the Rice and Houston communities. Without each one of you, the institute would not have received these laurels and we are honored by your participation, commitment and support.
Edward P. Djerejian