Established in 1900, SAF represents the voice of over 9,000 forestry and natural resource professionals. Its mission is to advance sustainable management of forest resources through science, education, and technology, promoting professional excellence while ensuring the continued health, integrity, and use of forests to benefit society in perpetuity. SAF also continues to advocate for scientific sustainable forest management, forest policy and practice position statements, and to connect policy makers with forest managers.
Prior to his selection as SAF CEO in September 2018, Baker served in various roles within the USDA Forest Service for close to 20 years across the U.S., working with a broad range of communities and partners to collaborate on the importance of managing lands in a sustainable way. He has been a wildland fire fighter, forester, and administrator of over one million acres. Baker earned a master’s degree in forest management and policy from Yale University in 2007, a bachelor’s degree in forest resources and conservation at the University of Florida in 2004 and was recognized by the University of Florida as one of their 40 under 40 alumni in 2019.
“As we face the impacts of climate change and growing awareness of the social inequities associated with green spaces, our collaborations and strategies have to evolve,” said Baker. “I have been impressed with SFI’s commitment to these efforts and see great opportunity to engage in these discussions at the board level to provide strategic advice to SFI.”
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s Board of Directors sets the organization’s strategic direction and is responsible for overseeing and advancing SFI’s programs, standards and strategies. The 18-member Board is comprised of three chambers representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. SFI Board members include executive-level representatives of conservation organizations, academic institutions, Indigenous Peoples, Black American landowners, public officials, workforce representatives, and the forest products sector. This diversity reflects a variety of interests in the forestry community.
Baker replaces outgoing Environmental chamber representative and Board Chair Karla Guyn, former CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada.