On June 9, 2017, LGS Innovations CEO Kevin Kelly had the honor of remarking on the distinguished life and career of Dr. William Baker at the annual INSA Baker Awards dinner.
Now in its 34th year, the Bakers Awards celebrate individuals who demonstrate extraordinary excellence in their contribution to national security affairs, make significant scientific and technical contributions that enhance national security interests, or enhance technology, management processes, or techniques to offer substantial cost savings.
The namesake of this prestigious award, Dr. William Oliver Baker, saw the importance in unifying the public and private sectors in the name of national security, and by spearheading this effort bolstered the strength of the nation’s security and intelligence. This foresight and leadership embodies the spirit and mission of INSA.
“It was an honor to be asked to remark on the man who was not only president of Bell Labs, but also a keystone in the Intelligence Community,” said Kelly. “He was a rare combination of scientist, strategist, manager, executive administrator, counselor, mentor, and innovator.”
During his career Dr. Baker consulted with five U.S. presidents, received 27 honorary doctorate degrees, and founded the NRO and what is now DISA. His work in building partnerships between our nation’s R&D labs and our intelligence and national security organizations was instrumental in establishing the U.S. as a pillar of innovation. Dr. Baker’s work in forming a committee to strategize a postwar plan for organizing our nation’s intelligence and security apparatus was so forward-looking, far reaching, and well-conceived that most of it is still classified.
“Bill Baker had a talent for combining science with the needs of humanity,” said Kelly. “Bridging the gap between our best scientific minds, R&D labs, and our nation’s defense and security organizations is his most lasting legacy, and the reason why INSA created the William Oliver Baker Award. As scientists and engineers we still strive to innovate in a way that not only enhances the strength of our nation, but also contributes to the strength of humanity as a whole.”
Kevin Kelly’s full speech can be found here.
Special thanks to Greg Friedmann for researching William Baker’s life and accomplishments and drafting some suggested remarks for Kevin’s use at the Baker Awards ceremony.