This is just a personal note that one of the people who helped launch me professionally passed away in late March, and his obituary appeared recently in the Los Angeles Times.
G. Bruce Baker — who was a key architect of Citibank’s operations in Asia — was also one of the people who hired me at 23 years old to serve as Executive Director of the Japan America Society of Southern California.
Baker was on my board of directors for the seven years I served in that job — and he taught me much about strategy, about professional temperament, standing my ground — and knowing when to lose small professional battles to win a war. He was a rough guy but kind, and the New England drawl that had been Californianized made his words aesthetically memorable — though the substance of what he was saying needed no gloss. I spent many Thanksgiving dinners at his home in Pasadena — just near the Rose Bowl.
I owe Bruce Baker a lot — as well as others who nurtured my deep interest in policy entrepreneurship and activism.
— Steve Clemons