Blanchard, Duncan Williams and Orujyan elected to Baker Institute Board of Advisors

David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Blanchard, Duncan Williams and Orujyan elected to Baker Institute Board of Advisors

HOUSTON – (April 25, 2017) – The board of advisors at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy has elected three new members with expertise ranging from community development to entrepreneurship and energy: Angela Blanchard, Randa Duncan Williams and Armen Orujyan.


“The Baker Institute Board of Advisors is instrumental to the institute’s growth and operation,” said Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute. “This year’s impressive cohort brings invaluable expertise and experience as we continue to build the Baker Institute into a global leader in nonpartisan public policy research, and as we prepare to commemorate our 25th anniversary in 2018.”

Blanchard, president and CEO of Houston-based BakerRipley, formerly Neighborhood Centers Inc., is a globally recognized expert practitioner in community development. BakerRipley is the largest community development organization in Texas and is among the top 1 percent of charitable groups nationwide. Blanchard was named a senior nonresident fellow for the Centennial Scholar Initiative at the Brookings Institution in 2016. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Lamar University in 1984.


Duncan Williams is chairman of privately held and Houston-based Enterprise Products Co., an affiliate of the general partner of Enterprise Products Partners LP. Enterprise Products Partners is one of the largest publicly traded partnerships and a leading North American provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals. She serves on several nonprofit boards, including as a Rice trustee since 2009. She received a B.A. in political science and economics from Rice in 1985 and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1988.

Orujyan is the founder and chairman of Athgo Corp., a leading entrepreneurship platform that is in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, U.N. Department of Public Information and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Athgo advances innovation ecosystems in Europe and Africa and has established recurring global innovation forums at the U.N. and World Bank headquarters. Orujyan earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000 and his doctorate degree from Claremont Graduate University in 2007.


“The board is most pleased to welcome Angela, Randa and Armen as new colleagues,” said Steve Miller, chairman of the Baker Institute Board of Advisors. “Their skills, wisdom and experience will continue to leaven the board’s guidance for the institute.”

Including Blanchard, Duncan Williams and Orujyan, the Baker Institute Board of Advisors consists of 33 members charged with advising the institute’s growth and operation.


For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five 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 or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

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