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Adria Baker, PhD

Executive Director, Associate Vice Provost for International Education
Rice University

Adria Baker, PhD, received the 2011 KC ISSS Award of Excellence.

Adria Baker, PhD, Executive Director, Associate Vice Provost for International Education, Office of International Students & Scholars at Rice University, has held a variety of leadership positions in her 25 years of working in international education. Her focus on public policy issues in international education allowed her to serve several years on NAFSA’s State Whip Network as Texas’ key congressional liaison, which opened doors for her to serve also on the Governor’s Council for the Department of Homeland Security. She led the Committee for an International Education Policy in Texas, which resulted in Texas H.R. 143 and Texas S.R. 532.

Adria has written several articles and presented often on subjects including advocacy issues supporting international education, international student & scholar advising, foreign credentials evaluation, immigration topics and other related issues promoting international education exchange. Through utilizing NAFSA’s strategic advocacy programs, she has taught many international educators that each individual has an important voice to be heard. Her passion is to promote scholarships to send NAFSA members to Advocacy Day every year. She also created a template used by many states to encourage state-led initiatives, such as state international education policies. The information was disseminated via conference sessions, articles and a webinar. She also co-produced (with colleagues at Rice and the Institute of International Education) the training video “International Friendship Program” for volunteer orientation programs.

She is a Past Chair of NAFSA Region III, and was awarded the Region III Outstanding Service to International Education award in 2004, as well as being recognized as the 2006 Advocate of the Year. She presently serves on the boards for the Fulbright Association-Houston Area Chapter and the Houston Greeters. She studied as a Rotary International Research Fellow at the University of Costa Rica.