Mission and Vision
The Center’s mission is to provide critical insights on domestic and international challenges through research, education, and policy engagement to honor the life and legacy of Senator Baker. The Center seeks to accomplish this mission by leveraging the expertise of jointly-appointed interdisciplinary faculty, who lead the Center’s programs, and through the contributions of more than thirty fellows drawn from academia, public service, and industry. Together, these thought-leaders conduct research on pressing policy challenges, producing peer-reviewed publications as well as policy briefs, white papers, and public lectures, and act as mentors and teachers to the Center’s growing cadre of students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Center’s vision is sound policy, thoughtful leadership, and informed citizens.
Who We Are
Established in 2003, the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is a non-partisan public policy think tank located on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The Center seeks to continue the legacy of former US Senator, Senate Majority Leader, White House Chief-of-Staff, and US Ambassador to Japan, Howard H. Baker Jr.. Senator Baker, who is sometimes referred to as “The Great Conciliator”, was known for his ability to cross party lines, listen, and to find legislate solutions to difficult issues. His leadership resulted in landmark legislation, such as the Panama Canal Treaty, the Clean Air and Clean Water Act, and much more.
What We Do
Originally established in 2003 as a museum, archive, and event space, in 2012 the Center shifted its focus to fostering a living tribute to Senator Baker by conducting research, informing policy, and convening critical conversations in three focus areas:
In addition to these programmatic areas, the Center maintains active and engaged student programs including the Baker Ambassadors, Baker Scholars, and Washington Fellows programs, as well as a Minor in Public Policy Analytics. To participate in these programs, students must commit themselves to the principles of civility, integrity, and public service.
Where We’re Located
The Center is housed in a 51,000 sq.ft., three-story domed building, which also serves as a gateway to the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus and, in addition the Center, houses the Modern Political Archives (MPA), the University’s Honors and Scholars Program, and the Masters of Public Policy and Administration. The building also includes classrooms, the MPA Research Room, a Fellows lounge and co-working space, and the Toyota Auditorium.