James Baker to Give 2007 Shilling Lecture
James Baker III, the former secretary of state who most recently served as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, will give the 2007 Shilling Lecture at Southwestern University. The lecture will be held Wednesday, April 18, at 3 p.m. in the Corbin J. Robertson Center.
Baker served in senior government positions under three U.S. presidents. His career in public service began in 1975 as under secretary of commerce to President Gerald Ford. He served as White House chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985, and then served as secretary of the treasury and chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Council from 1985 to 1988.
Baker served as secretary of state under President George Bush from January 1989 through August 1992, during which time he traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post-Cold War era. He concluded his White House tenure by serving as chief of staff and senior counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.
From 1997 to 2004, Baker served as the personal envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, he was appointed special presidential envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt. In 2005, he was co-chair, with former President Jimmy Carter, of the Federal Commission on Election Reform. In March 2006, Baker and former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton were named co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel examining a forward-looking approach to Iraq.
Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts. He is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public service, including Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the American Institute for Public Service’s Jefferson Award, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Award, The Hans J. Morgenthau Award, The George F. Kennan Award, the Department of the Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and numerous honorary academic degrees.
Baker has written two books. The Politics of Diplomacy, which reflects on his years as secretary of state, was published in 1995. His memoir—Work Hard, Study … and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life—was published in October 2006.
A native Houstonian, Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, he entered The University of Texas School of Law. He received his J.D. with honors in 1957.
The Shilling Lecture Series at Southwestern University was established in 1999 by The Brown Foundation Inc. of Houston to honor Southwestern’s 13th president, Roy Shilling, and his wife, Margaret. The series brings to campus internationally prominent speakers on topics relating to ethics, public service and public policy. Past speakers include Thomas Kean, Benazir Bhutto, Desmond Tutu, Bill Moyers, President Jimmy Carter, Marian Wright Edelman, William Sloane Coffin, John McGuire and Karen Hughes.
Tickets for the lecture will be available to the general public at http://www.southwestern.edu/shilling-lectures/ beginning April 2.