October 7, 2014 – A new nonpartisan center devoted to respectful policy dialogue and original research is being created within Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, thanks to a $10 million gift from Patricia and Jon M. Baker Sr. (C’64).

The Baker Center for Leadership & Governance will provide an environment to observe and practice intelligent, good faith and respectful discourse on important global policy issues with the aim of crafting innovative and actionable policy solutions.

Baker is the founder, chair and CEO of International Planning Group, a global life insurance broker focused on meeting the wealth planning needs of high net worth individuals.

“We are deeply grateful to Pat and Jon Baker for their generosity – and their vision for this exciting new center,” President John J. DeGioia said. “With its focus on leadership and government, discourse and policy, we believe the Baker Center, as part of the McCourt School of Public Policy, can have a distinct and deeply needed impact on some of the most pressing and significant problems facing our world today.”

Agenda-Setting Experts

The new center will host The Baker Forum, an annual gathering of government, business, nonprofit and academic leaders from across the globe to explore and engage on complex policy issues.

“The Baker Forum is designed to attract an agenda-setting group of experts who will come up with tangible policy solutions, informed by research, to some of our world’s most critical challenges,” said Edward Montgomery, dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy. “The Baker Center will support the development and promotion of leadership that cuts across sectors and party lines.”

The new center will be housed at the McCourt School’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, an organization in development that will foster public service and civic engagement, inspire young people to become active political participants and offer programming for Georgetown undergraduate and graduate students.

Transforming Debate

Baker, who made the gift to create the new center, said he was inspired by the $100 million gift from Frank McCourt (C’75) to establish the McCourt School of Public Policy.

“Georgetown is uniquely positioned to leverage its brand, values, principles and successes to transform how policy issues are debated,” said Baker, a former Georgetown board of regents member and a 1991 recipient of the university’s highest honor, the John Carroll Award.

He and his wife, Patricia, have three children who graduated from Georgetown – Jon (B’89), Catherine (C’91) and Carlin (C’94).