Walter and Leonore Annenberg Excellence in Diplomacy Award

The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy is an annual award given by the American Academy of Diplomacy in recognition of an individual or group who has made exemplary contributions to the field of American diplomacy. It is the Academy’s highest honor and its purpose is to highlight the important contribution of all aspects of diplomacy to the nation’s business.

The Award is presented at the Academy’s Annual Awards Luncheon at the State Department in the fall, during which the recipient acts as keynote speaker. Recipients of the Annenberg Award are recommended by the Academy’s Executive Committee and are approved by the Board of Directors.

Secretary William J. Perry, Annenberg Award recipient, accepting his award at the 2017 Awards Luncheon.

Recipients of the Annenberg Award:

2018: James A. Baker, III
13th and 19th White House Chief of Staff and 61st United States Secretary of State

2017: William J. Perry
The 19th United States Secretary of Defense

2016: Robert B. Zoellick
Former World Bank Group President & U.S. Trade Representative

2015: William J. Burns
Under Secretary of State

2014: Carla A. Hills
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

2013: George P. Shultz
Secretary of State

2012: Richard G. Lugar
Senator

Hal Saunders Annenberg Award
Hal Saunders with Academy Chairman and President Thomas Pickering (L) and Ronald Neumann (R)

2011: Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense

2010: Harold Saunders
Director of international affairs, the Kettering Foundation

2009: William Lacy Swing
Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

2008: Ryan C. Crocker
Ambassador to Iraq

2007: Christopher Hill
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

2006: Max M. Kampelman
Head of the United States Delegation to the Negotiations with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms

2005: Men and Women of the Foreign and Civil Service
Accepted by Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns

2004: Joseph J. Sisco
Former Undersecretary of State

2003: John Danforth
Former Senator

2002 Secretary Colin Powell, Senator Lugar 1
Secretary Colin Powell, with Academy Chairman Joseph Sisco and Senator Richard Lugar
2001 Excellence in Diplomacy Award Kofi Annan with Chairman Joe Sisco
Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan and his wife Nane Annan, with Chairman Joseph Sisco

2002: Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State

2001: Kofi Annan
UN Secretary General

2000: Richard Lugar & Sam Nunn
Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

1999: Stuart Eizenstat
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

1998: George Mitchell
Peace Negotiations on Northern Ireland

1997: George F. Kennan
Lifetime Contributions to Diplomacy

1996: Dennis Ross
Special Middle East Coordinator

1996: Richard Holbrooke
Dayton Peace Accords on Bosnia

1995: Robert Gallucci
Ambassador-at-Large; North Korean Negotiations

1994: General John Vessey (USA, ret.)
President Emissary to Hanoi for missing American servicemen

1993: Robert Oakley
Special Envoy to Somalia

1991: Vernon Walters
Ambassador to Germany

1990: Thomas Pickering
Ambassador to the United Nations

1989: Rozanne Ridgway
Assistant, Secretary of State for European Affairs

1988: Stephen W. Bosworth
Ambassador to the Philippines

Walter and Leonore Annenberg

Walter and Leonore Annenberg, founders of the Annenberg Foundation

Recipient

James A. Baker, III

13th and 19th White House Chief of Staff and 61st United States Secretary of State

Winner of the 2018 Walter and Leonore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy.

 

James A. Baker, III, has served in senior government positions under three United States presidents. He served as the nation’s 61st secretary of state from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George H.W. Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post–Cold War era. Baker’s reflections on those years of revolution, war and peace — “The Politics of Diplomacy” — was published in 1995.

Baker served as the 67th secretary of the treasury from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. As treasury secretary, he was also chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Council. From 1981 to 1985, he served as White House chief of staff to President Reagan. Baker’s record of public service began in 1975 as under secretary of commerce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service as White House chief of staff and senior counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.

Long active in American presidential politics, Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992.

A native Houstonian, Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, he entered The University of Texas School of Law at Austin. He received his J.D. with honors in 1957 and practiced law with the Houston firm of Andrews and Kurth from 1957 to 1975.

Baker’s memoir — “Work Hard, Study . . . and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life” — was published in October 2006.

Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public service, including Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the American Institute for Public Service’s Jefferson Award, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Award, The Hans J. Morgenthau Award, The George F. Kennan Award, the Department of the Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award and numerous honorary academic degrees.

Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts. He is the honorary chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 1997 to 2004, Baker 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. In 2005, he was co-chair, with former President Jimmy Carter, of the Federal Commission on Election Reform. Since March 2006, Baker and former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton have served as the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel examining a forward-looking approach to Iraq.

Baker was born in Houston, Texas, in 1930. He and his wife, the former Susan Garrett, currently reside in Houston and have eight children and 17 grandchildren.