One of the country’s most prominent media and communications executives, Baer has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. From 1994 to 1997 he was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, serving first as the president’s chief speechwriter and later as the White House’s director of strategic planning and communications.
“Don is the original renaissance man, with deep experience in journalism, media, marketing, government, communication and business strategy,” said NPR President Vivian Schiller, who chairs the News Literacy Project’s board. “He has a big creative brain and will no doubt contribute immeasurably to our efforts.”
At Burson-Marsteller, which he joined in 2007, Baer provides strategic counsel to a global client list that includes many corporate and not-for-profit entities. He is also chairman of the market research firm Penn Schoen Berland.
From 1998 to 2007, Baer was senior executive vice president for strategy and development at Discovery Communications, home of the Discovery Channel and media properties in more than 170 countries. He has also been a top editor at U.S. News and World Report and has worked as a media lawyer. He is the fourth prominent addition to the News Literacy Project board since June, joining Leslie Hill, a former member of the Dow Jones board; Alison Bernstein, a former vice president at the Ford Foundation; and Gwen Ifill of “Washington Week” and the “PBS NewsHour.”