William G. BakerLecturer in Arabic & Middle East Studies
One Bear Place #97391
Waco, TX 76798-7391
William (Bill) Baker was born in Pampa, Texas, in 1949. His parents moved the family to Nazareth, Israel, in 1950, where they served as Baptist missionaries for 26 years. Bill and his two brothers and a sister were raised in the all-Arab cultural community of Nazareth and attended a local Arab school until 1961. He spent his high school years in the Hebrew speaking regions of Israel where he continued to study Arabic and Hebrew. Bill is a native Arabic and Hebrew-speaker.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Professor Baker returned to the United States to complete high school and attend Baylor University. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and served twenty-seven years, retiring in 2000 as a Lt. Colonel. His overseas assignments included embassy tours of duty as an Assistant Air Attaché in Tel Aviv, Israel, from 1988 to 1991, acting Air Attaché in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 1996 to 1997, and Defense and Air Attaché in Doha, Qatar, from 1997 to 1999. Colonel Baker has lived, worked, and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa to include the countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Saudi Arabia, the Sinai Peninsula, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Qatar.
Professor Baker has a Bachelor's degree in Foreign Service from Baylor University, and a Master's degree in Political Science from Texas State University. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Joint Air Intelligence School, Air Force Squadron's Officers School, Air Command and Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, and the Joint Military Attaché School. Professor Baker has served as a Middle East Foreign Area Officer, Political-Military Affairs Officer, Senior Middle East Intelligence Analyst at the Pentagon, Assistant Professor of Arabic at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and has taught seminars on Contemporary Middle East Wars, the Arab culture, and Middle East history. Professor Baker is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in International Affairs at the Air Force Special Operations School, Assistant Director of Middle East Studies, and Lecturer in Arabic and Middle East Studies at Baylor University.