Rice’s Baker Institute releases policy recommendations for the Obama administration


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Rice’s Baker Institute releases policy recommendations for the Obama administration

HOUSTON – (March 11, 2013) – Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy today released policy recommendations for President Barack Obama’s second term. Focusing on 12 critical issues facing the country, these recommendations are intended to provide policymakers with an analytic overview of the opportunities and challenges the authors advocate need to be addressed by longer-term, strategic policy formulation.

“The second Obama administration faces a complex policy environment,” said Baker Institute Founding Director Edward Djerejian. “While generating economic growth at home amid continued risk of financial instability abroad remains a key policy challenge, numerous crises around the globe require policy attention. It is our hope that our recommendations will prove to be useful starting points for decision-makers working to develop comprehensive, forward-looking policies.”

The 12 topics addressed in the report, “2013 Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration,” and the Baker Institute fellows and scholars who authored them:

  • “Spotlight on the U.S. Space Program: Problems and Solutions,” George Abbey, Baker Botts Senior Fellow in Space Policy.
  • “Foreign Policy: Toward a New Balancing Strategy,” Joe Barnes, Bonner Means Baker Fellow.
  • “Information Technology Policy: Action Items for the Next Four Years,” Christopher Bronk, fellow in information technology policy.
  • “Moving Forward with Tax Reform,” John Diamond, Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance, and George Zodrow, Rice Scholar.
  • “U.S. Economic Diplomacy: Adapting to Shifts in Global Economic Powers,” Russell Green, Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics.
  • “Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Recommendations for Realizing Legislative Goals,” Vivian Ho, James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics.
  • “Science and Technology: Ensuring America’s Science Future,” Neal Lane, senior fellow in science and technology policy, and Kirstin Matthews, science and technology policy fellow.
  • “U.S.-China Relations: Energy and Environmental Policy,” Steven Lewis, C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow.
  • “Marijuana Prohibition: Going Up in Smoke? And Sterile Syringes for Injecting Drug Users,” William Martin, Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy.
  • “U.S. Natural Gas Policy: Recommendations for the President,” Kenneth Medlock, James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics.
  • “Immigration Reform: A Comprehensive vs. Piecemeal Approach,” Tony Payan, scholar for immigration studies.
  • “Climate Change Policy: Recommendations for the Next Administration,” Ronald Sass, fellow in global climate change.

Four years ago, the Baker Institute published a book of its policy recommendations for the first Obama administration. That report is available here: http://bakerinstitute.org/news/policy-recommendations-for-the-next-administration.


For more information or to schedule an interview with one of the authors, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

Related materials:

“2013 Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration,” paper: http://www.bakerinstitute.org/publications/BI-pub-PolicyRecommendations-021313.pdf.

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Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.   

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.