Former U.S. Secretary of State to speak at Outstanding Leadership Series
Posted: 03/28/2005
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Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III will headline the annual Outstanding Leadership Series hosted by The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation April 7.

Baker joins the list of past inspirational speakers - former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf - whose appearances have helped raise money for student scholarships and UTPA programs.

"Each year the UTPA Foundation strives to offer an Outstanding Leadership Series presentation that is memorable and thought provoking for our students, academic and administrative staff and the communities served by the University," said Joe Ramirez, UTPA Foundation chairman.

During the Leadership Series, a native Houstonian, will share his own experiences in politics and public service, offering unique insights into what it takes to be a successful leader.

"Secretary Baker will speak on effective leadership qualities, citing his high profile roles in three presidential administrations and interactions with many world leaders as well as the relevance of such qualities and skills to today's challenging environment," Ramirez said.

Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs at UTPA, said the University Foundation looks for world-renown speakers who have made a significant impact on global events, to speak at the annual event that raises about $100,000 for UTPA scholarships and programs.

"Through this series, local business and civic leaders have the opportunity to see and hear world-class speakers discuss the application of their leadership skills to the solution of complex problems," Arriola said. "Getting this opportunity while at the same time helping the University reach its educational goals is a win-win situation."

Baker has served in senior government positions under three U.S. presidents. He began his public service career in 1975 with President Gerald Ford as the Under Secretary of Commerce. From 1985-1998, he served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan. As Secretary of Treasury, he was also chairman of Reagan's Economic Policy Council. During Reagan's administration, he was also named White House Chief of Staff from 1981-1985. Under President George H.W. Bush, he served as the nation's 61st U.S. Secretary of State from January 1989-August 1992. He concluded with his service as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.

He is currently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts and senior counselor to The Carlyle Group, a merchant-banking firm in Washington, D.C. He is also honorary chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Baker has served as the Personal Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Baker was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt.

An elegant dinner is set for 7 p.m. followed by the Baker presentation at 8 p.m. A question and answer session will follow the speech.

Sponsorships are available from $5,000-$25,000, and benefits will include a networking reception, elegant dinner and the presentation. Top sponsors will be invited to a private reception and dinner with Baker, Ramirez said.

"By participating in the Outstanding Leadership Series, you support the students of UTPA and at the same time attend a unique, once in a lifetime presentation," Ramirez said.

For more information on the Outstanding Leadership Series or to become a sponsor, call 956/381-3361.