D. James Baker

— Board Member



Jim is a scientist, an administrator, and a consultant. He is involved in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization for the Global Forest Observations Initiative, helping developing countries manage their land sector to become more climate-resilient. Most recently, he was the Senior Strategic Advisor and Director of the Global Forest and Land-Use Program at the Clinton Foundation with forest monitoring projects in Latin America, East Africa, and East Asia. He was the longest serving Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1993-2001) leading efforts in application of satellite technology to weather forecasting, climate policy, and ocean protection.  He has been an advisor to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a member of the U.S. Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics.
Jim has also served as the President and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Before coming to NOAA, he was President of Joint Oceanographic Institutions Incorporated in Washington, DC and the first Dean of the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington.  He is the author of the book Planet Earth: The View from Space, published by Harvard University Press. He was awarded the Vikram Sarabhai Medal for outstanding contributions to space research in developing countries by the international Committee on Space Research and the Indian Space Research Organization.

Jim has a BS in physics from Stanford University, a PhD in experimental physics from Cornell University, and three honorary degrees.  He and his wife live in Washington, DC.