RUSHERN L. BAKER, III
Former County Executive of Prince George’s County, Maryland
President, Baker Strategies, LLC
Rushern L. Baker, III served as the 7th County Executive of Prince George’s County, MD from 2010 to 2018. He started his political career in the Maryland House of Delegates in 1994 where he served until 2002.
Baker took office following the Great Recession of 2008 and the conviction of the previous County Executive. As a result, he focused on boosting pride in the county through economic growth and reducing crime. Soon after taking office, he pushed for unprecedented ethics reform and he established the Economic Development Incentive Fund (EDIF), an unprecedented $50 million fund designed to stimulate business growth in the county. He also streamlined government operations, which made the county more business friendly, generating billions of dollars in development throughout the county. In addition, under Mr. Baker’s leadership, Prince George’s County has consistently been a leader in the state and region in job creation, which has led to a significant increase in household income and rising home values.
Baker also enhanced the county’s healthcare system through the establishment of new healthcare facilities, increased the number of residents who were insured and securing funding for the New University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Prince George’s County scheduled to open in 2021. Mr. Baker’s emphasis on healthcare also led to programs to assist caregivers, young children and mental and behavioral health.
In 2012, Mr. Baker created the nationally recognized Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI), an innovative approach to uplift economically challenged neighborhoods. This collaborative approach between the government and the community helped reduce overall crime by 50% during his administration and was the catalyst for significant grant funding coming into the county to address public safety.
Throughout his political career, Rushern L. Baker has been deeply committed to improving the quality of life for the people he serves. During his administration he significantly increased funding for public schools, increased enrollment, expanded academic programs, foreign language, arts education, as well as access to early childhood education programs.
Mr. Baker has received numerous awards and honors from several organizations, including the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’ National Leadership Award for Public Service and the Most Innovative Executive of the Year for Minority Business from the Maryland/Washington Minority Contractors Association. He was also presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from his Alma mater Howard University in 2013, as well as a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014. Mr. Baker was named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 2014 Washingtonians of the Year and was presented with the Latino Leaders Network’s 2015 Chairman’s Award. Also of note, Governing Magazine selected him as one of their 2015 Public Officials of the Year. In 2016, Mr. Baker was selected as a Public Service Honoree by the Alzheimer's Association.
Mr. Baker is a former President of the County Executives of America, served as a board member for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the National Association of Counties and the Maryland Association of Counties, National Capital Area Chapter Alzheimer’s Association.
Mr. Baker currently serves as President of Baker Strategies, LLC a leadership development and public affairs firm. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University in Washington, DC.