Rushern L. Baker III

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 was elected 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 was elected, 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 the State, 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.

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.

Government Relations

Guidance for your organization or business to successfully navigate the legislative, regulatory and policy processes at the local, state, and federal level

Community Engagement

Identification of community stakeholders to plan, organize, and implement key strategic outreach activities

Public Affairs

Develop and cultivate industry relationships, external networks, and advocacy efforts supporting the strategic direction of our clients, and ensuring timely messaging and approaches that resonate with the media and policy makers

Business Advisory

Strategic counsel to businesses, non-profit organizations, and institutions in project planning, designing and implementing of innovative organizational solutions

& Mission heading embellishment

From the seed of an off-hand exchange with his father more than 45 years ago, Rushern L. Baker, III has made it his life’s mission to meaningfully improve the lives of others less fortunate than himself. Railing against what the young Baker saw as the failed record of achievement of a local Massachusetts politician, his father challenged him to do better.

Baker adopted his father’s challenge and went on to lead a life dedicated to public service, including, most recently, as county executive of Prince George’s County, the wealthiest majority African American jurisdiction in the country and the economic engine of Maryland.

Baker took over as chief executive of a county of nearly one million residents on the heels of a predecessor mired in a national public corruption scandal and in the midst of a global recession, and was faced with a $150 million budget deficit, rising crime, declining school enrollment and an unsustainably large residential tax base.

Under Baker’s leadership, Prince George’s County is now leading the state in job creation for the first time in its history, crime is at historic lows, there is a healthy budget surplus, school funding increased and enrollment has grown significantly, and the newly created $50 million economic development incentive fund has led to more than $8 billion in economic development activity.

Baker plans to continue his life mission and successful legacy of making lives better for others in his new role as President and CEO of the Baker Strategy Group by engaging with clients who seek assistance in advancing projects, initiatives and ideas that make the world better for others.