It’s easy to see why Americans are frustrated with our government, the press, and other core institutions.

Everyday, we witness our political leaders bicker over important challenges like health care; we get mixed messages on these critical policy and political issues from the media; and all the while, Americans at the top continue to do well, while the rest struggle to make ends meet.

At the Baker Center, we’re not waiting for leaders to respond to these challenges. We’re moving ideas into action.

Bold Solutions

Through our Baker Innovation Grant, we’ve challenged and empowered five students at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy to pursue bold solutions to a pressing social, political, or policy issue.

Each Baker Innovator received $20,000 to develop, incubate, and refine their unique solution to a challenge.

This pioneer group of Innovators has been provided with customized leadership training and skill-building workshops, access to exclusive peer discussions, and expert advice to tackle their chosen solutions more effectively. Their year-long exploration will culminate in a presentation of their progress and impact on the eve of the Baker Forum in February 2018.

Let’s meet them and learn about their projects:

  • Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate Adam Bouyamourn will launch a text messaging app to connect vulnerable and food insecure populations in Washington, DC, with social services.
  • Waterloo, Iowa, will be the test community for MPP candidate Kelley Schneider to roll out The Unity Project, designed to bring together the local community for open, respectful dialogue that will reduce partisan anxiety and promote a sense of security.
  • MPP candidate Jacob Ford is creating an ‘internship bank’ to provide students at a Southeast Washington, DC, high school with critical work experience, to reduce truancy and raise the school’s graduation rate.
  • Joint MPP/MBA candidate Rebecca Gerr is launching a school-based education program to help young adults in Virginia improve their health insurance literacy and decision making.
  • Christian Conroy, a joint public policy and foreign service candidate, is developing a pilot website about the impacts of political gerrymandering to make them more easily understood by the average voter.

Conduit for Collaboration

Created thanks to the generosity of Patricia and Jon M. Baker, Sr. (C’64), the Baker Center for Leadership & Governance is a new center at Georgetown University within the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

Through programming like the Baker Innovation Grant, and our experiential learning opportunities, our skills-building clinics, and the annual Baker Forum, we seek to:

  • Convene the leaders of today and tomorrow to incubate ideas and explore areas for action on social, political, and policy challenges
  • Challenge students to raise their hand and put their solutions into action
  • Cultivate the next generation of leaders by giving them the skills and tools to be more effective in today’s complex world

Learn more at