Former Secretary of State James A. Baker
James Baker Honored as 2012 Great Negotiator
Author: Stefanie Le
In late March, Harvard’s Program on Negotiation (PON) and the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project (FDP) jointly honored former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III with the 2012 Great Negotiator Award.
The Great Negotiator Award was created twelve years ago by PON to reward “individuals whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact.” Since 2011, the award has been co-sponsored by the Future of Diplomacy Project, which aims to explore the importance of diplomacy in a globalized world.
The event examined three of Secretary Baker's greatest negotiation successes: German reunification after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the Madrid Conference, and the preparations for the first Iraq War. The three cases will be used to teach future generations of students at the Kennedy School, the Law School and Harvard Business School.
Baker was awarded the 2012 Great Negotiator Award for his work in the administration of George H.W. Bush. Among the additional challenges he faced as secretary of state under George H.W. Bush were navigating the often strained Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it was his work that set the stage for the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
During a program at Harvard Law School to receive his award, Baker discussed his diplomatic challenges with James K. Sebenius, co-chair of the Great Negotiator Award Committee, and Future of Diplomacy Project Director R. Nicholas Burns.
“You need a president who will support you, and defend you, and protect you even when you are wrong. I had that wonderful relationship with [George H. W. Bush],” said Baker, who served as secretary of state from 1989 to 1992. “Nobody was going to get between me and my president.”
For more information about this publication please contact the Belfer Center Communications Office at 617-495-9858.
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