On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, Rushern L. Baker, III was elected the 7th County Executive of Prince George’s County, MD. His inauguration marked the latest chapter in a long career of dedicated public service. As an equal opportunity lawyer, economic development specialist, and State Delegate, Rushern has been an active member of the Prince George’s County community for over 23 years.
Rushern was born on October 24, 1958 in Valdosta, Georgia, to Carolyn Baker and Rushern Baker II, a sergeant major in the Army’s Special Forces. Like many military families, the Bakers moved frequently, and Rushern experienced life in Okinawa, Japan and North Carolina before settling with his family in Beverly, Massachusetts, where he graduated from high school.
Rushern went on to attend Howard University as an undergraduate history student. He later returned to study law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate in 1986. His scholastic achievements represented a triumph over early struggles with reading, a success made possible by the tenacity and support of his family and teachers. Rushern, an active reader and accomplished lawyer, has remained a steadfast advocate of the importance of teachers and education throughout his career.
As a young lawyer, Rushern worked in the office of U.S. Senator John Kerry, the District of Columbia’s Department of Housing and Community Development, and as a legal counsel to the Peoples Involvement Corporation, a nonprofit community development and social services organization. He became a Senior Partner at Baker & Perry, LLP in 1998, and subsequently served as the Executive Director of Community Teachers Institute, a K-12 education reform nonprofit based in Lanham. Prior to his swearing-in as County Executive, Rushern was a partner at the Law Office of Baker and Burch.
Rushern was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves Judge Advocate General Corps from 1987 to 2001. He has been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the Commission on the Future of Maryland Courts, and a series of task forces on important social and community issues. Currently, Rushern serves in the Gladys Noon Spellman Parent Teacher Association and the Maryland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Howard University Alumni Association.
A pivotal conversation with his father about personal responsibility and public service sparked Rushern’s interest in politics. His desire to bring about positive change in Prince George’s County through political action ultimately propelled him to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1994. As a representative of the citizens of District 22, Rushern served on the Environmental Matters, Judiciary, and Appropriations Committees and was chosen to serve as Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation from 1999 till his departure from Annapolis in 2003. While in Annapolis, Rushern gained a reputation as a consensus builder, an honest professional, and a tough, well-respected leader.
Rushern first ran for county executive in 2002. Throughout his campaign, and through two subsequent runs, Rushern was motivated by his deeply held belief in the County’s potential, and by the support of thousands of concerned citizens who wanted to see their good County become great.
While at Howard University, Rushern met and married Christa Beverly, a graduate of Howard’s undergraduate program and William and Mary Law School. The couple has three children, all of whom have passed through the Prince George’s County public school system. Two have since graduated, with one attending college at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the eldest enrolled in graduate school at Yale University in New Haven, CT. The Bakers are proud residents of Cheverly, where they have been active and engaged members of their community for many years.
Rushern’s family and professional life are firmly rooted in Prince George’s County. He is honored to be serving his neighbors and fellow citizens as County Executive.
Rushern L. Baker, III on October 14, 2012
Rushern L. Baker, III on September 18, 2012
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