Dr. Barbara A. Baker, Executive Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute, is a writer and educator who has published and taught in a wide range of areas including aesthetics, bioethics, African American and Southern literature and music, health care, and women’s studies.
She is the author of The Blues Aesthetic and the Making of American Identity, the editor of Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination, Lewis Nordan: Humor, Heartbreak, and Hope, and Scholarship and Action: communities, leaders, and citizens. She has also published numerous journal articles, reviews, and entries.
As Associate Professor at Tuskegee University where she taught English for eleven years, she served as a mentor in the United Negro College Fund / Mellon Fellows program and was awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. At Auburn University, she is a member of the graduate faculty and teaches in Women’s Leadership, Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, Community and Civic Engagement, and in the Honors College.
As Executive Director of Auburn’s Women’s Leadership Institute, Baker founded the Extraordinary Women Lecture series which has featured Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Lilly Ledbetter. Under Baker’s leadership, WLI partners with numerous organizations including the League of Women Voters, AAUW, and the Center for American Women and Politics, and has educated hundreds of women from across the southeastern region on leadership topics.