WASHINGTON— Further enhancing his distinguished professional career, James Baker, Counsel for Intelligence Policy at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, is taking a temporary leave of absence from the Department to teach at Harvard University, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein of the National Security Division announced today.
During the week of Jan. 29, Mr. Baker will begin teaching a course in national security investigations and litigation at Harvard University Law School in Cambridge, Mass. He will also serve as a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Baker had initially announced his pending departure several months ago.
During his 16-year tenure at the Department, Mr. Baker has worked on all aspects of national security investigations and policy, particularly matters related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Since 2001, Mr. Baker has led the Department’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) and has been responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing national security intelligence and counterintelligence matters at the Department. Mr. Baker has also provided the U.S. intelligence community with legal and policy advice for many years and has conducted oversight of the intelligence community, including the FBI.
In December 2006, Mr. Baker received the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the CIA’s highest award for counterterrorism achievements. Past recipients of this prestigious award include former CIA Director George Tenet and current CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden.
Earlier today, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales presented Mr. Baker with the Edmund J. Randolph Award for Outstanding Service, the Justice Department’s highest award. The award is named for the first Attorney General and recognizes outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the Department’s mission.
“The Department of Justice owes a debt of gratitude to Jim Baker, who has played a critical role in guiding our nation’s counterterrorism and intelligence activities in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. His expertise and devotion will be sorely missed by everyone at the Department and, in particular, by his friends at the National Security Division,” said Assistant Attorney General Wainstein.
In Mr. Baker’s absence, Margaret A. “Peggy” Skelly-Nolen will serve as Acting Counsel for Intelligence Policy at the Department’s National Security Division. Ms. Skelly-Nolen has previously served as the Deputy Counsel for Intelligence Operations and has been with the Justice Department for roughly a decade.