Leadership in a Time of Pandemic: Act Well the Given Part


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique questions and challenges, including what kind of leaders are necessary in this current crisis.

The Hon. James E. Baker’s article highlights the need for leaders during the pandemic and the principles that can apply to the both the legal and policy responses to this current public health crisis. In doing so he distinguishes the leadership necessary during a pandemic as opposed to other national security crises; focuses on three leadership tasks: Prepare, Act, and Lead and what those tasks mean during a pandemic; and identifies role models and their importance in modeling and encouraging qualities necessary for effective leadership during a pandemic.

As the pandemic endures, Baker writes about the qualities necessary to support sustained efforts to bring the end of the pandemic.

By James E. Baker

James E. Baker is Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law and a Professor at the Syracuse College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He previously served as a Judge and Chief Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. As a career civil servant he served as Legal Adviser and Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. Mr. Baker has also served as a Counsel to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Oversight Board, an attorney in the State Department, a legislative aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and as a Marine Corps infantry officer.

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