One thing that will never be said of Rushern Baker is that he waits around for change to happen.
Bio & Mission
Rushern Baker is a father of three and husband to the great love of his life, Christa Beverly. In 2010, Christa was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and Rushern has been her main caregiver ever since. His family has been lucky enough to have a wide network of support, but Rushern knows that too many Marylanders are forced to choose between healthcare and life’s other necessities. After seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated long-existing inequities in healthcare, education, and employment, Rushern Baker felt compelled, once again, to public service.
One thing that will never be said of Rushern Baker is that he waits around for change to happen. Rather, he narrows in on a problem and dedicates himself to solving it however he can. That urgency to create meaningful change has guided him throughout his life.
His father, a Green Beret whose service brought his family from Georgia, to Japan, to Massachusetts, taught him that leadership isn’t just about having ideas, but about compassion and delivering outcomes.
Rushern believes that action, not talk, is key to achieving real solutions for people.
In his eight years as Prince George’s County Executive, Rushern Baker changed a once stagnant County into a vibrant, successful, nationally recognized and awarded model of how focused, thoughtful, and collaborative leadership can transform communities, governments and lives.
As Prince George’s County Executive from 2010 to 2018, Rushern Baker showed exceptional leadership under extraordinary circumstances in reversing the trajectory of the second largest local government in Maryland. Despite being the wealthiest and most educated majority African American jurisdiction in the world, when Rushern Baker took office in 2010 the County found itself plagued by rising crime, poorly performing schools, a stagnant economy, a large deficit stemming from an ongoing global financial crisis, fiscal strains from a decades-long property tax cap, staggeringly high numbers of residential foreclosures, and a government that plainly had been poorly managed in several areas. To make matters worse, just days after Rushern Baker’s inauguration, his predecessor in office was arrested on federal corruption charges amidst loudly reverberating echoes of a larger “pay to play” culture among the County’s elected officials, putting Baker in the position of having not only to deal with the expected challenges of leading the County, but also to largely remake the executive branch of the government from scratch.
Armed with a well-articulated vision, and possessing the leadership, integrity, and courage to seek much needed but painful changes to enhance confidence in the County’s elected leadership, Rushern Baker made Prince George’s County the leading economic engine of Maryland, creating more jobs than any other local jurisdiction for the last three years of his Administration, reducing crime to record lows, and increasing property values by record amounts. His achievements led Governing Magazine to recognize him in 2013 for his leadership and led his peers to elect him to two terms as the Chair of the County Executives of America. Baker has served on the boards of the National Association of Counties, the Maryland Association of Counties, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He has also received countless other awards for his leadership and excellence in government administration and programming. Rushern Baker taught Bowie State University students as a visiting professor in the Department of History and Government from 2018-19, and is a proud 2018 Bowie State University Foundation Honoree.
Baker Strategy Group
Since leaving office in December 2018, Baker has successfully launched a national leadership institute for local government chief executives in consultation with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and the County Executives America. Baker is the President and CEO of the Baker Strategy Group, a consulting firm providing strategic operational solutions to a variety of public, private sector, and non-profit clients through the Washington DC region. Baker also serves on several boards including the University of Maryland Medical System, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Junior Tennis Champions Center.