Remembering Howard Baker

Publication Date: 
30 Jun 2014

News Type:

The International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) is deeply saddened by and laments the loss of former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, who was also White House Chief of Staff during the Reagan administration and U.S. Ambassador to Japan. He served on our Board of Directors from 2005-2011.

Baker had a long and illustrious career in public service. As a Republican Senator from Tennessee from 1967-1985, he also served as an influential member of the Senate committee that investigated the Watergate scandal. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984.

A lifelong photographer, he served as a judge on IFES’ first photography contest, which is now an annual showcase for photos that exhibit elections and democracy from around the world. Baker began his photography career as a 12 year-old Boy Scout and once quipped that the medium “may be the only place where I can reasonably aspire to perfection.”

Reacting to the news of Baker’s death, IFES Board of Directors Chairman Peter G. Kelly said, “We mourn the loss of Howard, an effective, bipartisan leader who personified the best in politics. His involvement on the IFES Board of Directors underscored the importance of a bipartisan pursuit of electoral politics around the world.” “Howard’s loss is felt by all of us at IFES and the many people’s lives that he touched throughout his noteworthy career as a public servant,” added Vice Chairman William J. Hybl.

We offer our condolences to the Baker family and remember him for his dedication to IFES’ mission.

IFES supports citizens’ right to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 135 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies.