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For nearly two decades, Kenneth Baer has worked at the intersection of policy, politics, ideas, and communications as a government official, adviser, writer, and entrepreneur.
From January 2009 to July 2012, Ken was the Senior Advisor and Associate Director for Communications and Strategic Planning at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
In this role, Ken was part of a small leadership team that set the direction for and ran this White House office and Cabinet-level agency, and he advised the Director on policy decisions. He directed all strategic positioning and communications, new media activities, external affairs, and press relations for the agency and its key leadership. In addition to being an on-the-record Administration spokesman on a range of economic, fiscal, management, and other policy issues, Ken was the lead writer and editor of the President’s Budget and ran every aspect of its rollout. As a senior OMB official, he worked closely with the White House press and communications teams, the Administration’s economic team, and officials throughout the executive branch. Baer was named one of the Obama Administration’s “key decision makers” by National Journal and was profiled in Politico.
Before joining the Obama Administration, Ken founded Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, a progressive quarterly, named in its inaugural year Best New Publication by the Independent Press Awards and recognized as an incubator of cutting-edge policy ideas.
Baer also founded Baer Communications, LLC, where he wrote for and provided strategic communications counsel to Fortune 500 companies, major non-profit institutions, presidential campaigns, and elected officials at every level of government. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Baer co-wrote Change We Can Believe In, the Obama campaign’s policy book which became a New York Times best-seller. Before founding Baer Communications in 2001, Ken was Deputy Director of Speechwriting for Gore-Lieberman 2000 and Senior Speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. In addition to speechwriting, he edited the campaign’s major policy books on the economy, family policy, and other issues. Before joining the Vice President, Ken wrote on technology and telecommunications issues for FCC Chairman William Kennard. He also has helped run the speechwriting operation at the last five Democratic conventions.
Ken brings to his work this practical experience as well as a deep understanding of American politics, history, and culture. He is the author of Reinventing Democrats: The Politics of Liberalism from Reagan to Clinton (University Press of Kansas, 2000), the definitive history of the New Democrat movement. In addition to being a regular on-line columnist for the New Republic, the American Prospect, and Time, Ken has published commentaries in publications such as Slate, the New York Times, and the Washington Post and has been a political analyst on several television networks.
Ken has a doctorate in Politics from Oxford University, where he was a Sir John and Lady Thouron Scholar, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Ken also has been an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University and a Sacks Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University.