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Baker Buzz

News and Events from the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

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Virtual Events


CORE-19 Up-To-Date Results
The Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a network of researchers in public health, economics, public policy, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and other disciplines who seek to provide timely information for the public and policymakers on pressing questions regarding the global pandemic. Researchers at the Center are working closely with the CORE-19 team to create a series of policy briefs forecasting the health and economic impacts of the virus. For up-to-date, well-researched information on COVID-19 visit
TN pulse survey logo

TN Pulse Survey: Consumer Sentiment Data Collected for the TN Economic Recovery Group

The Tennessee Pulse is a cooperative effort of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group, the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS), which is designed to capture the attitudes and behaviors of Tennesseans toward COVID-19 and the re-opening of the economy. The survey enables segmentation across a grouping of the state’s largest metropolitan counties (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan) and the remaining 89 counties of the state, as well as age, gender, and race. Results will be collected and published. 
Time Series results of the survey are also available. See the results here.
More information on the TN Pulse Survey and access to future results, visit

Research and Publications 

south korea, japan, and china flags

University Fellows Receive Grant 

Dr. Krista Wiegand, Director of the Global Security Program, and Global Security Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Sojeong Lee received a grant from the Korea Foundation, the first received at UTK. Dr. Wiegand and Dr. Lee will spend time during 2021 writing papers about South Korea’s relations with Japan and China in the context of South Korea’s alliance with the US. The Baker Center will host a conference of scholars from  the US and South Korea at the end of the project.
boat in front of large city

Center's Global Security Fellows Published in Leading Outlets 

 Dr. Krista Wiegand, a specialist on the South China Sea maritime disputes, published a policy recommendation “How Biden Should Handle the South China Sea Disputes” in War on the Rocks, a platform that publishes pieces on foreign policy and national security issues. The War on the Rocks piece was featured in an interview on the television channel Government Matters TV (The U.S. Approach to the South China Sea). Wiegand recently published an article on the South China Sea with former Ph.D. student, Dr. Jessie Hayoun Ryou Ellison in Peace & War Studies Journal. This article was the topic of a podcast, “Sea Control,” by the Center for International Maritime Security, in which Wiegand was interviewed about “Competing U.S. and Chinese Legal Strategies in the South China Sea. As co-Editor-in-Chief of the international relations journal International Studies Quarterly, Dr. Wiegand also published a commentary, “Can IR Have Its Own ‘Big 3’ Journals?” In Duck of Minerva, a blog that focuses on the field of International Relations. The commentary challenged international relations scholars to rethink where and how they publish scholarly articles about their research.
earth with covid spikes

COVID-19 Recovery Funds Dwarf Clean Energy Investment Needs 

Energy & Environment Fellow Dr. David McCollum of the Electric Power Research Institute will be published in Science, one of the world's top academic journals.  His study finds that the path of the Paris Agreement is well within reach if just a tenth of COVID-19 funding is invested in a ‘climate-positive’ recovery, with the dual aims of stimulating the global economy and accelerating the deployment of low-carbon energy supply and energy efficiency measures. Read more about the study here.
maratime water with police man

Update: Center's Global Security Fellow To Lead A Collaborative Research Project Employing Student Staff 

Dr. Brandon Prins, lead investigator and Global Security Fellow, received a 700,000 dollar Minerva grant from the US Department of Defense to research maritime crime in the Indo-Pacific region. The grant will allow Prins to hire both graduate and undergraduate students to assist on the project. Professor Prins will be partnering with colleagues at UNC Wilmington, Sewanee, and the US Naval War College. He and his colleagues will also work with colleagues in Southeast Asia to complete the research project. Read more about the project here.
Dr. Katie Cahill headshot

Associate Director Dr. Katie Cahill 
interviewed for CNN 

CNN recently interviewed Dr. Katie Cahill, the associate director of the Center, for Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s podcast. Her interview explains her profound track on Tennesseans' public sentient surrounding COVID-19. Read the story here

Honoring Senator Baker

Senator Lamar Alexander

Senator Alexander Farewell Speech

Senator Lamar Alexander, former legislative assistant and speechwriter for Senator Howard Baker, gave his farewell address on the Senate floor. Senator Alexander reflects on his career in public service and provides his vision for the future of the senate. You can watch his full address here.

Get involved with the Baker Center!

Students walking with Senator Lamar Alexander

Get Involved with the Baker Center! 

The Center is a home for civic engagement for students in all disciplines and at all levels. Through programs, events and lectures, and helpful faculty and staff, the Center aims to engage the community on the topics of Global Security, Leadership & Governance, and Energy & Environment. Learn more at

Here are some ways you can get involved:

Contact Us
Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0931
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