Makayla Hipke
Dole Institute of Politics

Dole Institute to honor James Baker with Dole Leadership Prize

Wed, 10/10/2018

LAWRENCE – The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced that it will honor former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker with the 2018 Dole Leadership Prize.

Baker will accept the award at a public program at the institute at 2 p.m. Nov. 7. The program will be free and open to the public. A livestream of the event will be available at

“Jim Baker is an extraordinary leader,” Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy said. “I had the chance to see his skill up close when he was President Reagan’s chief of staff. He went on to serve as secretary of the treasury and as secretary of state under President Bush. It is a great honor to host him at the Dole Institute.”

Baker served in senior government positions under three U.S. presidents, including as the nation’s 61st secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush. During that time, Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post–Cold War era.

His career in public service began in 1975 as undersecretary of commerce to President Gerald Ford. He would go on to serve through January 1993, culminating in his appointment as secretary of state.

Baker was White House chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan beginning in 1981, and he was appointed secretary of the treasury by Reagan in 1985. He also served as White House chief of staff and senior counselor to Bush. Long active in American presidential politics, Baker led presidential campaigns for Ford, Reagan and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992. In the 2000s, he served in numerous federal appointments, including as co-chair of the Federal Commission on Election Reform alongside former President Jimmy Carter.

Baker is the honorary chairman of the James. A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. The Baker Institute was founded in 1993 and is one of the nation’s premier nonpartisan public policy think tanks.

The Dole Leadership Prize is awarded annually to an individual or group whose public service leadership inspires others. The award includes a $25,000 cash award. Previous winners of the Dole Leadership Prize include John D. Kemp, Nelson Mandela, Wounded Warrior Project, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Women Air Service Pilots of WWII, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former U.S. Senators Howard Baker, Tom Harkin, Nancy Kassebaum and George McGovern, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Congressman John Lewis and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located in KU’s West District and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.

More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website,

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