Dr. William F. Baker directs the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, and Public Policy at
Fordham University, where he is also Journalist-in-Residence and a professor in the Graduate School of
Education. Dr. Baker is President Emeritus of WNET, New York’s public media station and the premiere source of PBS
programs nationwide. Over the four decades of his career, Dr. Baker has been a broadcaster, executive,
author, sought-after public speaker, academic, and explorer.
Baker is co-author of the book Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior
Results (American Management Association, 2008), and hosts the documentary of the same name which
premiered on public television in 2008.
Baker’s career spans four decades. During his twenty years as chief executive officer of WNET, he
distinguished himself as one of America’s most prolific fundraisers, raising over $1 billion for the
station, and establishing the largest endowment in the history of public television. Among many other
accomplishments at WNET, Baker introduced the landmark program Charlie Rose, oversaw the station’s
transition to digital broadcasting, and launched WNET’s first of many cable channels, MetroArts/Thirteen.
Before joining WNET, he was president of Westinghouse Television and chairman of their cable and
programming companies. At Westinghouse, Baker introduced Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host and
established PM Magazine as the #1 syndicated program in America in the 1980s. During Baker’s tenure,
Westinghouse also launched five cable networks, including the Discovery Channel and the Disney
Baker is the executive producer of the The Face: Jesus in Art, a landmark Emmy-winning feature film that
traces the image of Jesus Christ in art around the world and across two millennia. The Face premiered
nationwide on public television in 2001 and also enjoyed a limited theatrical release.
Baker is the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences. He has been inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS)
Management Hall of Fame and received the Mark Schubart Award from the Lincoln Center Institute, given
to individuals who most exemplify the Institute’s ideal of integrating the arts with education. He has also
been inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame and the New York State Broadcasters Association
Hall of Fame. In addition to numerous other awards, Baker has received the Gabriel Personal Achievement
Award, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards and the 1987 Trustees Emmy
Award, given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the advancement of television.
Baker is also the co-author of Down the Tube: An Insider’s Account of the Failure of American Television
(Basic Books, 1998) and the author of Lighthouse Island: Our Family Escape (Ruder Finn Press, 2004).
Baker is former Chairman of the National Parks System Advisory Board, and serves on the board of Rodale
Press. He is Distinguished Professor of Media & Entertainment at IESE Business School (Barcelona, Spain), and is also a Senior Research Fellow
at Harvard’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. He holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Case
Western Reserve University, and seven honorary doctorates from universities in America and Europe.
Dr. Baker’s long-standing commitment to promoting education led him to establish WNET’s Educational
Resources Center, the nation’s most prolific trainer in multimedia teaching techniques. He also founded
the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, & Public Policy at Fordham University, and he is an
annual speaker at WNET’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning.
His interests include astronomy, horology, and polar science, and he is the 8th person in history to have
stood on both the North and South Poles.