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Rice's Baker Institute releases policy recommendations for the Trump administration

January 18, 2017

Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy has released policy recommendations for President-elect Donald Trump's administration. Focusing on a range of important issues facing the country, these briefs are intended to provide decision-makers with relevant and effective ideas for addressing domestic and foreign policy priorities.

"The Trump administration faces numerous challenges requiring urgent attention," said Baker Institute Director Edward Djerejian. "It is our hope that these Baker Institute studies authored by our fellows and scholars will prove to be useful starting points for the new administration to develop comprehensive, forward-looking solutions."

The links to the 27 policy briefs - assembled under the banner "Recommendations for the New Administration" - are available here:

Economy and taxes
  • "U.S. Fiscal Policy" by John Diamond, the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance, and George Zodrow, Baker Institute Rice Scholar and the Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Chair of Economics.

  • "The Next Engine of U.S. GDP Growth: The Market for Ideas," "Prosperity Through Growth: Unleashing the Power of U.S. Small Business" and "The Key Driver of Economic Growth in the 21st Century: High-growth, High-tech Entrepreneurship" by Edward Egan, Baker Institute fellow and director of the institute's McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

  • "Bargaining With China: Exchange Rate Policy" by Russell Green, the Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics and adjunct assistant professor of economics.

  • "U.S. Energy Policy: Guidance for the Next Administration" by Ken Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and senior director of the institute's Center for Energy Studies.
  • "Five Major Challenges to the Beneficial Use of Non-fresh Water, Including Oil- and Gas-produced Water" by Linda Capuano, fellow in energy technology, and Anna Mikulska, nonresident scholar in energy studies.

  • "The U.S.-Saudi Relationship: Ripe for Improvement" by Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies.

  • "U.S. Policy Toward the Hydrocarbon Industry in Latin America" by Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American energy policy.

Health care and drugs
  • "Making Health Care Affordable Again" by Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, director of the institute's Center for Health and Biosciences and professor of economics.

  • "High Cancer Drug Prices: The Harm to Americans and Proposed Solutions" by Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, nonresident fellow in health policy, and Ho.

  • "Blue Marble Health and Vaccine Science Diplomacy" by Dr. Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty.

  • "Invest in Global Child Nutrition" by Farhan Majid, the L.E. and Virginia Simmons Fellow in Health and Technology Policy.

  • "Drug Policy is Evolving. Prohibition Inhibits Progress" by William Martin, director of the institute's Drug Policy Program, and Katharine Neill, the Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy.

  • "Improving the Future of America's Children" by Dr. Quianta Moore, Baker Institute Scholar in Health Policy.

Immigration, trade and North America
  • "Immigration and the United States: A Path to Resolution" by Tony Payan, the Francoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the institute's Mexico Center.

  • "The North American Nexus" by Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute.

  • "Whither NAFTA?" by the Baker Institute.

Foreign policy - the Middle East and China
  • "A Strategy Toward Defeating ISIS" by Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute.

  • "What the Next U.S. Administration Should Know When Considering an Approach to Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict" by Samih Al-Abid, the Diana Tamari Sabbagh Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies, and Yair Hirschfeld, the Isaac and Mildred Brochstein Fellow in Middle East Peace and Security in Honor of Yitzhak Rabin.

  • "U.S. Military Action in the Middle East: The Next President Should Seek Congressional Approval" by Joe Barnes, the Bonner Means Baker Fellow.

  • "U.S. Relations With the Gulf Cooperation Council" by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East.

  • "Taking Political Parties Seriously in the Arab World" by Marwa Shalaby, fellow for the Middle East and director of the Women's Rights in the Middle East Program.

  • "U.S. Engagement with Islamists" by A. Kadir Yildirim, research scholar in the Center for the Middle East.

  • "Preparing for Future Chinese Leadership Changes: A Diplomatic Full-court Press" by Steven Lewis, the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow.

Science and technology
  • "The Vital Role of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the New Administration" by Neal Lane, senior fellow in science and technology policy; Kirstin Matthews, fellow in science and technology policy; and Kenneth Evans, postdoctoral fellow in science and technology policy.

  • "Why NASA Should Change Its Present Course" by George Abbey, the Baker Botts Senior Fellow in Space Policy.

Eight years ago, the Baker Institute published a book of its policy recommendations for the first Obama administration. That report is available at
For more information or to schedule an interview with one of the experts, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Founded in 1993, Rice University's Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute's strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes -- including a public policy course -- and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute's blog,

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