Gary Baker, Ph.D.
Adjunct Lecturer of Public Administration
Areas of expertise: Nonprofit management, urban policy
Gary Baker is the director of community building initiatives, senior fellow and adjunct professor of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. The Midwest Center is an education and outreach center of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He holds an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. with emphasis in nonprofit entrepreneurship and urban education. His dissertation was a study of the competitive advantages for urban core businesses.
He is also serving as a senior research and teaching assistant for an urban core business research project in partnership with Professor Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business School. The project, The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, explores the various ways to help grow sustainable for-profit urban core businesses based on competitive advantage and advanced business clusters.
Baker holds a master of public administration and a Nonprofit Fund Raising Professional Certificate from the Bloch School. He received his B.A. in psychology with a double major in business from Baker University. Baker is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Program at the state and local level from the John F. Kennedy School of Government located at Harvard University. He has been involved in numerous professional and civic leadership roles during his career.
Prior to joining UMKC, Gary was a director of youth development and manager of planning and support services for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He served as team leader for a Kauffman Foundation study, the Building Community Concept Team. The team conducted a nationwide study of the best practices and key learning points that focused around the question of what is a healthy community. He also facilitated numerous planning projects for various nonprofits in the greater Kansas City area. Along with this, Baker facilitated training for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department that focused on community policing and team performance.
During his career, Baker served for 18 years as the president and CEO of Crittenton, a children’s psychiatric hospital and family mental health program. Previously, he worked for other organizations as an associate administrator, business manager, operating supervisor and medical corpsman.