Stewart A. Baker is a Partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He returned to the firm following three and a half years at the Department of Homeland Security as its first Assistant Secretary for Policy. At Homeland Security, Mr. Baker created and staffed the 250-person DHS Policy Directorate. He was responsible for policy analysis across the Department, as well as for the Department’s international affairs, strategic planning and relationships with law enforcement and public advisory committees. This work required a broad understanding of all aspects of the Department’s activities, including maritime regulation, customs enforcement, immigration, identity management, SAFETY Act implementation, money laundering enforcement, government contracts, and regulation of travel and air transportation, and its role in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”).
While at DHS, Mr. Baker led successful negotiations with European and Middle Eastern governments over travel data, privacy, visa waiver and related issues. He devised a new approach to visa-free travel, forged a congressional and interagency consensus on the plan and negotiated acceptance with key governments. He also managed the passage and implementation of the SAFE Ports Act, led the Department’s policy effort to reform federal immigration laws, and transformed the Department’s role in CFIUS, helping to drive the first rewrite of the CFIUS law and regulations in a generation.
Mr. Baker is also the author of Skating on Stilts – Why We Aren’t stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism, a book on the security challenges posed by technology and the use of data in preventing terrorism. He is a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Group.