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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2022

Rice University’s Baker Institute partnership brings light to USACAPOC(A)

By Story by Sgt. 1st Class Lisa Litchfield U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)

Surrounded by historical documents, photos, and memorabilia in the office of former United States Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff James Baker, III, at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Ambassador David M. Satterfield and Maj. Gen. Isaac Johnson, Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) signed a partnership into existence on November 28, 2022.

This partnership, sealed with a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USACAPOC(A) and Rice University’s Baker Institute is aimed at providing additional training opportunities to the U.S. Army Reserve’s Military Government Specialists (38G). These technically qualified and experienced individuals work in the Civil Affairs field but hold specialized, advanced degrees in areas of study that are critical to the establishment, support and governance of areas impacted by natural disasters or acts of conflict.

“It’s obvious to see the value of a collaboration between 38G Energy Officers’ expertise and the high caliber faculty at the Rice University’s Baker Institute,” said Johnson. “For USACAPOC, the partnership provides two significant advantages. First, it allows us to contribute with PhD-level SMEs to a whole-of-government approach-particularly during competition, when DoD is not the lead agency. Second, it strengthens our knowledge networks and provides tremendous depth and reach-back support, enabling us to address the complex web of ‘wicked problem’ sets that are inherent to the competition phase,” he concluded.

With both parties agreeing on the significant challenges and problem sets within the energy sector, there was a degree of urgency to address these issues and develop this MOU. With such a collective commitment, both parties are extremely excited to see the quality of outcomes the partnership will bring.

“We’re happy to be part of this mission,” enthused Satterfield. “We’re all about public policy as well as education. This is an excellent mingling of the two. What we bring is the extraordinary practical skill sets that our experts have in the energy field.”

Satterfield and Johnson are looking forward to this collaboration which will not only allow each party access to additional sources of data but also allowing for further analysis and resolution as the faculty, students and staff of the Baker Institute work together with the Soldiers of USACAPOC(A).

“This is an excellent combination,” said Satterfield. “What you bring are individuals already involved in these areas (38Gs), who in their Reserve service have the ability to take those skills to a deployed mission. We will contribute to their skill sets, adding value to them in their civilian and in their deployed life.”

The MOU signed with the Baker Institute adds Rice University to a diverse section of professional industry leaders partnered with USACAPOC(A) including the Smithsonian Institution, Fresno State University, and Texas A & M. These diverse faculties, subject matter experts and complex knowledge networks are working closely with the Army Reserve to establish a framework of collaboration and reach-back support, mutually beneficial to all involved parties as the collaborations grow and expand.