Media guidance for former President Barack Obama’s appearance at Baker Institute 25th anniversary gala


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Media guidance for former President Barack Obama’s appearance at Baker Institute 25th anniversary gala

HOUSTON – (Nov. 15, 2018) – Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will host its 25th anniversary gala celebration at the university Nov. 27. The event will highlight the Baker Institute’s 25th commemorative year under the theme “A Quarter Century: Making History.”

The 44th president of the United States, the Honorable Barack Obama, will be the institute’s guest of honor and take part in a moderated, approximately 45-minute conversation with former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, the institute’s honorary chair. Baker Institute Director Edward Djerejian will introduce Obama and Baker, and presidential historian Jon Meacham will serve as moderator.

“2018 is a major milestone for the institute and for all our supporters and friends, without whom we could not have established this prominent public policy forum,” Djerejian said. He added, “With President Obama’s participation in our gala, the institute will have had the privilege of hosting every living former president since its inception.”

The gala is an invitation-only celebration for Baker Institute supporters and special guests. Public tickets are not available. A livestream of the conversation between Obama and Baker will be available at starting at 7:45 p.m. Central.

MEDIA NOTE: To apply for credentials to this limited-seating event, please go to to submit a request form by 1 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Media organizations will be notified by Wednesday, Nov. 21, about whether they will be credentialed for this event. Due to space constraints, please note that not all requests can be accommodated. Coverage logistics will be provided upon confirmation. President Obama will not be available for separate interviews while at Rice. NOTE: Media who are attending the gala as ticketed guests and plan to report on the event are also asked to submit this credential application.

The honorary hosts of the institute’s 25th anniversary year are Hushang and Shahla Ansary. The gala co-chairs are Franci Neely, Andrea White, John Nau III and Ned Holmes.

Founded in 1993, the Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. In recent years, the institute has created and strengthened specific centers and programs that address key public policy issues, including the Center for Energy Studies, Center for Health and Biosciences, Center for the Middle East, Mexico Center, Center for Public Finance, McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth, Presidential Elections Program and Drug Policy Program.

For a timeline of the institute’s history, go to

Members of the media with further questions should contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

Non-media questions about the gala should be addressed to Christene Kimmel, director of development for special projects, at 713-348-2136 or

For information about becoming a Baker Institute Roundtable member, visit or contact Chetna Cates at 713-348-4945 or


Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three 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 director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.