Howard Baker Jr. (1949) was U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2001 through 2004. Baker served as both minority and majority leader during his 18 years in the U.S. Senate. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984. He was White House chief of staff from 1987 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. Throughout his career, Baker has remained an active supporter of the University of Tennessee. UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy recognizes his service to the university, state, and nation. Baker represented the state of Tennessee while serving in the U.S. Senate.
Baker received the University of Tennessee Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.