86R20538 GM-D
  By: Davis of Harris H.R. No. 1227
         WHEREAS, The Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice
  University in Houston is marking its 25th anniversary in 2019; and
         WHEREAS, Founded in 1993, the nonprofit nonpartisan think
  tank is dedicated to building a bridge between "the world of ideas
  and the world of action"; it bears the name of James A. Baker III, a
  native Texan who served as White House chief of staff and secretary
  of the treasury under President Ronald Reagan and as secretary of
  state and White House chief of staff under President George H. W.
  Bush; and
         WHEREAS, The institute has been led since 1994 by director
  Edward P. Djerejian; a diplomat under eight administrations, he
  held such key posts as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern
  affairs and ambassador to Syria and Israel; and
         WHEREAS, In the institute's early years, its research agenda
  was informed by Rice's geographic proximity to Mexico, the Texas
  Medical Center, and the global capital of the energy industry;
  Ambassador Djerejian's expertise led to the creation of the Center
  for the Middle East, and the institute's focus continued to expand
  significantly over the years; today, it encompasses 16 research
  centers and programs, and more than 50 research fellows, scholars,
  and other staff members work from the Rice campus headquarters,
  while dozens of faculty members also hold appointments with the
  center; and
         WHEREAS, Through research, analysis, and advocacy, the
  institute's scholars and fellows have sought answers to the world's
  most daunting policy issues, and their expertise has been sought
  after by journalists and decision-makers alike; Baker fellows met
  more than a dozen times last year with representatives from state
  and federal agencies, as well as with legislators and their staffs,
  and they testified at state and federal committee hearings;
  moreover, local, state, and national reporters turn to Baker
  Institute scholars for informed commentary on and context for the
  news of the day, and in the last fiscal year, the think tank tallied
  some 20,000 media citations; and
         WHEREAS, Recognizing its impact and public engagement, the
  University of Pennsylvania's Think Tanks and Civil Societies
  Program has ranked the Baker Institute third among all the world's
  university-affiliated think tanks; Rice students benefit from the
  presence of a policy-oriented "thought factory" on campus, and the
  institute's dynamic, wide-ranging speaker series is a boon to the
  public; a host of prominent statesmen, diplomats, religious
  leaders, writers, scientists, and artists have been invited to
  speak on campus, including Palestine Liberation Organization
  Chairman Yasser Arafat, Russian President Vladimir Putin, former
  Israeli President Shimon Peres, former Pakistani President Pervez
  Musharraf, former South African President Nelson Mandela, and the
  Dalai Lama; since its inception, the institute has hosted every
  living former president of the United States; and
         WHEREAS, For 25 years, the Baker Institute has been deeply
  immersed in our national conversations, providing scholarly
  expertise, empirical research, and insights born of firsthand
  experience on the issues that define our time and shape our world;
  now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 86th Texas
  Legislature hereby commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding
  of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and honor
  its namesake, former secretary of state James A. Baker III, for his
  long and distinguished career in public service; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That official copies of this resolution be prepared
  for Secretary Baker and Ambassador Djerejian as an expression of
  high regard by the Texas House of Representatives.