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October 28, 2010: News, Research & Events from the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
Baker Institute Update: Policy and Pinot - The 2010 Roundtable Reception

Policy and Pinot: The 2010 Roundtable Reception

One of the unique benefits of joining the Baker Institute Roundtable is the chance to talk directly with the institute's policy fellows and scholars. Every fall, the institute hosts a relaxed evening of conversation for members only at a private reception.

On Tuesday night, more than 100 people turned out to discuss current events and policy issues with the institute's experts over wine and hors d'ouevres. Members were invited to take home reports recently written by fellows on a wide array of topics, including U.S. drug policy, health economics, stem cell research, energy legislation and Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution.

"This is an opportunity for members to get to know the fellows one-on-one, and to discuss the public policy issues that are important to them," said Christene Kimmel, the institute's associate director of development.  

The research areas are "very timely and affect all of us," Roundtable member and former El Paso mayor William Tilney said. "It's great to talk to the fellows and learn more about critical issues from experts in their fields."

In his remarks, Baker Institute founding director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian announced the publication of the institute's first annual report, which is available online and will soon be mailed to Roundtable members. "The annual report offers a comprehensive review of the institute's activities, our current programs and our future direction. I urge you to read it," he said.

The institute is currently in discussions with Rice University to expand the scope of the Baker Institute Latin American Initiative, the ambassador said. He also highlighted institute internship programs and classes taught by institute fellows and scholars as examples of efforts to engage policy-minded Rice students.

Noting the important role of the Baker Institute Roundtable members, Djerejian expressed his appreciation for their generosity and support. Roundtable co-chair Beth Robertson, speaking on behalf of her honorary co-chairs Susan Baker and Y. Ping Sun, also welcomed the members and thanked them for their efforts.

Radu Filip, a member of the Associate Roundtable, the institute's young professionals group, enjoyed learning more about the fellows' research. "It made me think about how I can make my own modest contributions to public policy issues," said Filip.

For more information about Roundtable or Associate Roundtable membership, contact Starr Dickerson, development coordinator, at 713-348-4200 or

Downtown Houston statue honors The Honorable James A. Baker, III

Admirers of Baker Institute namesake and honorary chair James A. Baker, III, unveiled a statue in his honor in downtown Houston this week. Approximately 300 people attended a ceremony on Tuesday to commemorate the event. In the audience was President George H.W. Bush, for whom Baker served as U.S. secretary of state and chief of staff.

The statue is the project of the James  A. Baker Statue Foundation. (View the ABC-KTRK news video and story about the unveiling.)

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The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan public policy think tank located on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. The institute's distinguished fellows and scholars research and collaborate with experts from academia, government, the media, business and private organizations on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy.
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