Scholar, statesman, and IWP alumnus Steve Baker

September 27, 2011  |  STUDENTS & ALUMNI

"One might think it would be preferable to exercise political persuasion and conduct political action before resorting to killing people to defend our interests but, apparently, this is not within the conceptual framework of the foreign policy establishment."

IWP's founder and president Dr. John Lenczowski made the observation above in a lecture to his students in "International Relations, Statecraft, and Integrated Strategy."  One of his students, Steve Baker, observes that, "This statement has stuck with me to this day."  And it's clear that IWP-inspired ideas like this have guided his life and career.

Steve was interested in politics and national security for many years, but, "The entire concept of statecraft was an abstract idea to me prior to studying at IWP."  At the Institute, though, he found that "all of the classes revolve in some way around that strategic concept.... It became clear to me early on at IWP that America's national security would be better served if the foreign policy community would utilize equally all the tools of statecraft."

Steve gained an appreciation of the meaning and importance of statecraft, and found, "To be honest, I enjoyed all the classes at IWP... Dr. Waller's classes were incredible.  He allowed us to think freely about various topics concerning propaganda and strategic information warfare.  Dr. Thomas's and Dr. deGraffenreid's classes are particularly important for anyone wishing to enter the national security field. Overall, each class helped me to better understand the concept of statecraft, and what that means for American foreign policy."

While at IWP, Steve became more and more engaged in the foreign policy community.  He worked at the Center for Security Policy (CSP) in D.C., and "I interacted with many national security experts who had made a real difference in the way the United States carried out its foreign and defense policies." Inspired, Steve found that, "I wanted to do my part to serve my country.  I followed in my father's footsteps into federal law enforcement, and it has been very rewarding."

Steve is now a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Security Branch.  Some of his responsibilities include national security investigations concerning counterproliferation. He is also involved in new agent training, maritime security coordination, and responses to cases involving hazardous materials.

Having worked in the national security world now for a number of years, Steve observes, "IWP's curriculum provided a very solid basis for understanding intelligence, counterintelligence and policy, among many other things.  In a post-9/11 world, anyone who wishes to work in the national security field, in whatever capacity, must have a strong understanding of these broad concepts.  The education that I received at IWP provided me with a sophisticated national security context in which I could better understand my own professional experiences."

Steve has remained engaged in the academic community, teaching at West Chester University in the summer of 2010.  He comments, "I designed a graduate course titled ‘National Security in a Democracy.'  I relied heavily upon the knowledge I gained from studying at IWP, as well as my own experiences in the national security field."

And this past summer, Steve was selected for the Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute.  He found that it was "an incredible experience." He observes that, "I have been a huge admirer of the Claremont Review of Books for many years, and I had always wanted to participate in the fellowship.  The fellowship consisted of a week long series of seminars from an incredible group of professors from around the country.  The fellowship focused primarily on the importance of understanding the Constitution through the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and expounded on by the words and deeds of Abraham Lincoln."

Steve, a member of IWP's Class of 2004, is now a member of IWP's 1947 Club, which supports student scholarships.  Thank you, Steve, for your support!