Executive Vice President for Aspirational Excellence
Ph.D., University of Tennessee; M.A., Baylor University; B.A., Baylor University
Lori Baker serves as Belmont's Executive Vice President for Aspirational Excellence. In this role, she leads in connecting daily operational efforts of the University to the strategic visioning work of the Office of the President. Prior to joining Belmont in January of 2023, Dr. Baker was a professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences with a specialization in molecular and forensic analysis of skeletal remains. She also served in several leadership capacities at Baylor, including Vice Provost, VP for Strategic Initiatives, Collaborations, and Leadership Development, VP for Faculty Development and Diversity, Chair of Faculty Senate, and Faculty Regent. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Baylor and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Dr. Baker is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is the founder and executive director of Reuniting Families, a program that aids in the recovery, identification and repatriation of deceased migrants who perish in the United States border region. She was a finalist for “Texan of the Year” in 2014 in recognition of her leadership in this humanitarian effort. Lori has also acted as an advisor to numerous government officials and agencies both for the U.S. and abroad as well as contributed work and education for several Latin American Truth Commissions. She has been an invited speaker in many national and international venues such as the Peace Palace in the The Hague, as part of the International Commission on Missing Persons Conference and Amnesty International. Published in national and international journals, her work has been featured by such media as National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC and MSNBC, among others.