James A. and Susan G. Baker establish endowed fellowship to honor Edward and Françoise Djerejian

David Ruth

Jeff Falk

James A. and Susan G. Baker establish endowed fellowship to honor Edward and Françoise Djerejian
Tony Payan to become first Françoise and Edward Djerejian Baker Institute Fellow

HOUSTON – (June 10, 2014) – The Honorable James A. Baker III, the 61st U.S. secretary of state, and Susan G. Baker have generously established an endowed fellowship to honor the work of Edward Djerejian, the founding director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, and his wife, Françoise.


Recognizing the importance of the Baker Institute’s Mexico Center, the Djerejians directed the endowment to Tony Payan, director of the Baker Institute Mexico Center, as the first Françoise and Edward Djerejian Baker Institute Fellow.

“When Susan and I proposed to Ambassador Djerejian and Françoise to consider coming to Houston to lead the Baker Institute for Public Policy, none of us could have then foreseen its meteoric rise to become one of the top public policy think tanks globally,” Baker said. “Ed and Françoise’s long and distinguished foreign service career and their experience, level of dedication, vision, commitment and team effort have contributed in large part to our unparalleled success, and Susan and I could not be prouder to honor their work.”

Payan will lead a policy study group composed of fellows and scholars from the Baker Institute and from leading institutions in Mexico. He will focus the Mexico Center’s crucial research on policy issues facing the U.S.-Mexico relationship, including border, trade, energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, migration, education, health, security and rule of law issues.

“Our endowed fellowship cements U.S.-Mexico policy expertise at the Baker Institute for Public Policy,” Djerejian said. “Our proximity to Mexico affords us a privileged position to achieve the ambitious goal we have set for ourselves — namely, to establish the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Mexico Center as the pre-eminent source of findings on the study of U.S.-Mexico relations. In keeping with the Baker Institute’s commitment with respect to all of its activities, we intend to influence the highest level of policymaking of both the United States and Mexico governments.”

“I’m deeply grateful to Secretary and Mrs. Baker for endowing the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Baker Institute Fellow, and to Ambassador and Mrs. Djerejian for providing me with the opportunity to conduct important and meaningful research at the Baker Institute for Public Policy,” Payan said. “Both are incredible honors.”

Payan received his doctoral degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 2001. His work theorizes on various topics regarding international borders, including border governability, foreign policy attitudes on the border and the manifestation of U.S. foreign policy at its borders. He has authored two books, “Cops, Soldiers and Diplomats: Understanding Agency Behavior in the War on Drugs” and “The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security,” in addition to numerous book chapters and academic articles. He joined the Baker Institute staff in 2012.


Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Baker Institute Mexico Center: http://bakerinstitute.org/mexico-center.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts 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, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. 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.