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April 28, 2010: News, Research & Events from the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
Baker Institute Update: Engaging the next generation of policymakers

Engaging the next generation of policymakers

For students interested in public policy, the Baker Institute offers a variety of opportunities to work on research with fellows, serve as interns at home or abroad, or spend one-on-one time with some of the distinguished speakers who visit Baker Hall. The work may be challenging — and could take a student to Washington, D.C., Paris or Africa — but is always interesting, and represents one of the institute's central missions: to engage the next generation of policymakers.

Many institute fellows teach classes in addition to conducting research. Their areas of expertise include energy policy, economics, religion and Asian studies. Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, the institute's founding director, taught an undergraduate class for the first time this semester. The course, "Policy Studies 455: Contemporary Middle East Policy," focuses on United States' Middle East policy and politics as well as the major historical, religious and cultural dynamics of the region. "I have been impressed by the students' interest in global affairs, and their questions suggest a real desire to understand the world around them," said Djerejian, who is pictured above during a class lecture.

The Baker Institute also offers competitive internship opportunities for Rice undergraduates interested in public policy. This summer, nine undergraduates will get hands-on experience in policy research and analysis in Washington, D.C., through the Jesse Jones Leadership Center Summer in D.C. Policy Research Internship Program. In addition, the institute is sending four interns to Paris and Brussels this summer, where they will be working with research fellows of the French Institute of International Relations on subjects as diverse as Asian studies and the European Union.

The Baker Institute Energy Forum sponsors undergraduate internships that promote sustainability in developing countries. Under faculty supervision, interns conduct community-level assessments to identify energy, environmental, technological, health and educational adaptations that, when implemented, provide improved, sustainable and cost-effective adaptive capacity. Internship locations include Maseru, Lesotho, as well as Mexico and Morocco.

Our newest internship opportunity is a student-led initiative on public diplomacy and global policymaking in the 21st century. For a week in June, 10 Rice undergraduates will travel to the American University in Cairo (AUC) and open a research-driven dialogue with AUC students on issues ranging from education and mass media to women's rights.

Students on campus also have multiple opportunities to engage first-hand with institute scholars and staff. Undergraduates are invited to apply for research and administrative positions at the institute.

In addition, the Baker Institute Student Forum gives Rice undergraduates the opportunity to plan institute-supported, public policy events to engage students across campus. This year's guests have included U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. and World Bank President Robert Zoellick also had private meetings with student forum participants.

Upcoming Events

Events are by invitation only unless otherwise noted. For a complete list, visit our events page.

Webcasts: Spotlight on education

The institute's Science and Technology Policy Program has long stressed the importance of a rigorous math and science education, and its fellows have held a number of events to address the issue. The events listed below have been archived for easy viewing online:
For a complete list, visit our webcast page.

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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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