Interviewees

Baker, Ross

Description:
Ross Baker, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University. He was born and raised in Philadelphia and went to high school at Akiba Academy in Lower Merion. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career at the Special Operations Research Office and then as a research associate at the Brookings Institution. In 1968, he joined the Rutgers College Political Science Department, one of four political science departments in New Brunswick at the time. In the interview, he recalls the consolidation of the political science faculty in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Baker shifted the focus of his scholarship from international relations/comparative politics in Africa to American government and U.S. legislative politics. In 1975, he accepted a position in the office of Senator Walter Mondale, which led to Dr. Baker's academic focus on the U.S. Senate. Over the course of his career, he has worked in the offices of Senators Birch Bayh, Frank Church, Chuck Hagel, with whom he traveled as a part of a congressional delegation to Russia in 2000, Patrick Leahy, and Harry Reid, as well as serving as a consultant to the Democratic Caucus of the House of Representatives. His publications include The Afro-American, American Government (with Gerald Pomper and W. Carey McWilliams), Friend and Foe in the U.S. Senate, The New Fat Cats, House and Senate, and Strangers on a Hill. He received a Fulbright lectureship at the Swedish Institute of International Relations in Stockholm. In addition to being a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today, he is a frequent commentator on various National Public Radio programs.