Rabbi Andrew Baker is Director of International Jewish Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. In this position he is responsible for maintaining and developing AJC’s network of relationships with Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora and addressing the accompanying international issues and concerns. He has been a prominent figure in addressing Holocaust-era issues in Europe and in international efforts to combat anti-Semitism.
In January 2009 he was appointed the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chair-in-Office on Combating Anti-Semitism and has been reappointed in each successive year. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental body of 57 nations headquartered in Vienna, has become a central arena for addressing the problems of a resurgent anti-Semitism.
He has played an active role in confronting the legacy of the Holocaust. He is a Vice President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, the Jewish umbrella organization that has worked on restitution issues for over half a century. In 2003 he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (First Class) by the President of Germany for his work in German-Jewish relations. He was a member of Government Commissions in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia that were established to address the claims of Holocaust Victims.
He was a founding member of the National Historical Commission of Lithuania and involved in restitution negotiations there. He currently serves as co-chairman of the Lithuanian Good Will Foundation, established in 2012 to administer communal compensation payments. In 2006 the President of Lithuania presented him with the Officer’s Cross of Merit for his work, and in 2012 he was awarded the Lithuanian Diplomacy Star. For similar work he was awarded the Order of the Three Stars by the President of Latvia in 2007. He helped the Romanian Government establish a national commission to examine its Holocaust history and served as one of its founding members. For this work he was awarded the National Order of Merit (Commander) by the President of Romania in 2009.
Rabbi Baker directed AJC efforts in the development and construction of the Belzec Memorial and Museum, a joint project of AJC and the Polish Government on the site of the former Nazi death camp in Southeastern Poland. In May 2006 he was appointed by the Prime Minister of Poland to a six year term on the International Auschwitz Council, the official governmental body that oversees the work of the Auschwitz State Museum.
A long-time resident of Washington, DC, Rabbi Baker has served as President of the Washington Board of Rabbis, President of the Interfaith Conference of Washington and Commissioner on the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission. He has also served as a congregational rabbi in Chicago and a chaplain at San Quentin Prison in California.
A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Rabbi Baker received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Masters Degree and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He is the father of four children.