Academy of Distinguished Alumni

John A. Baker

John A. Baker M.S., P.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

John A. Baker received both his B.S. (1968) and M.S. (1973) degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  He has been a distinguished practitioner in civil engineering for more than 40 years.  He started his career as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineers Corps.  He then held positions with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, at the State of California Department of General Services, and then at several private-sector engineering and construction management organizations.  Subsequently, he served for many years as a Vice President with the Anderson Consulting Group and finally as Senior Vice President with Kleinfelder, Inc., a position from which he recently retired. 

Mr. Baker has had an exemplary career serving in public agencies and private industry, ultimately rising to one of the most senior positions at Kleinfelder, a major international consulting and engineering firm.  His principal areas of practice have been in geotechnical engineering related to infrastructure development and rehabilitation and in environmental remediation of contaminated sites.  He has been involved in the area of environmental remediation from its early beginnings, and he served as the lead on many important projects covering a broad range of environmental regulatory programs, site contaminants, and remediation technologies.  He has led environmental remediation projects at more than 30 sites located throughout Northern California, including sites adjacent to Lake Tahoe and San Francisco Bay.  In geotechnical engineering, his most recent effort was to lead the Kleinfelder condition assessments of Sacramento-area flood control levees and the consequent repair of various deficiencies identified through the assessments.  His experience includes management of the Natomas Levee Improvement Program (43 miles of levees), Non-Natomas Levee Program (60 miles of levees), and Non-Urban Levee Program (300 miles of levees along the San Joaquin River). 

Throughout his career, Mr. Baker has been an ardent supporter of the U.C. Berkeley Campus and the College of Engineering.  He served as President of the U.C. Berkeley Engineering Alumni Society and is currently Vice President of the Bowles Hall Alumni Association, a group working to restore and modernize this historic campus structure.    He was also instrumental in the establishment of the James H. Kleinfelder Fellowship in Geotechnical Engineering for U.C. Berkeley graduate student geotechnical engineers.