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

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy has 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 adjunct professor of economics, and George Zodrow, Rice Scholar and Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Chair of Economics.
  • “U.S. Economic Diplomacy: Adapting to Shifts in Global Economic Powers,” Russell Green, Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics and adjunct assistant professor of economics.
  • “Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Recommendations for Realizing Legislative Goals,” Vivian Ho, James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and professor of 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 and adjunct professor and lecturer of 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.

About Jeff Falk

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