Dr. William F. Baker
Dr. William F. Baker directs the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, and Public Policy at Fordham University, where he is also Journalist-in-Residence and a professor in the Graduate School of Education. He is a professor at IESE Business School, ranked #1 globally by The Economist. Baker is a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Executive-in-Residence at the Columbia University Business School, teaches at the Juilliard School, and is President Emeritus of Educational Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), licensee of America's flagship PBS station Thirteen/WNET, and WLIW21, New Jersey's PBS affiliate.
Baker is co-author of the book Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results (American Management Association, 2008), and hosts the documentary of the same name which premiered on public television in 2008.
Baker's career spans four decades. During his twenty years as chief executive officer of EBC, he distinguished himself as one of America's most prolific fundraisers, raising over $1 billion for the station, and establishing the largest endowment in the history of public television. Among many other accomplishments at EBC, Baker introduced the landmark program Charlie Rose, oversaw the station's transition to digital broadcasting, and launched WNET's first cable channel, MetroArts/Thirteen.
Prior to joining EBC, he was president of Westinghouse Television and chairman of their cable and programming companies. At Westinghouse, Baker introduced Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host and established PM Magazine as the #1 syndicated program in America in the 1980s. During Baker's tenure, Westinghouse also launched five cable networks, including the Discovery Channel and the Disney Channel.
Baker is the executive producer of the The Face: Jesus in Art, a landmark Emmy-winning documentary film that traces the image of Jesus Christ in art around the world and across two millennia. The Face premiered nationwide on public television in 2001 and also enjoyed a limited theatrical release.
Baker is the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Management Hall of Fame and received the Mark Schubart Award from the Lincoln Center Institute, given to individuals who most exemplify the Institute's ideal of integrating the arts with education. He has been inducted into Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame and the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In addition to numerous other awards, Baker has received the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards and the 1987 Trustees Emmy Award, given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the advancement of television.
Baker is also the co-author of Down the Tube: An Insider's Account of the Failure of American Television (Basic Books, 1998) and the author of Lighthouse Island: Our Family Escape (Ruder Finn Press, 2004). In addition to being Chairman of the National Parks System Advisory Board, Baker serves on the boards of Rodale Press and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. He holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University, and seven honorary doctorates.
Dr. Baker's long standing commitment to promoting education led him to establish WNET's Educational Resources Center, America's most prolific trainer in multimedia teaching techniques. He also established the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, & Public Policy at Fordham University, and he is an annual speaker at WNET's Celebration of Teaching and Learning.
His interests include astronomy, horology, and polar science, and he is believed to be one of only a few people who have stood on both the North and South Poles.