Salzburg Global Seminar Says Goodbye to Bailey Morris-Eck

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Dec 19, 2019
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Seminar Says Goodbye to Bailey Morris-Eck

Long-time director succumbs to leukemia at age 77 Bailey Morris-Eck first joined the board of Salzburg Global Seminar in 1992. A luncheon was held in her honor in November, just two days before she passed away.

The Salzburg Global community mourns the passing of Bailey Morris-Eck, who died on November 24, 2019. She helped shape Salzburg Global’s policies and programs over three decades, recruiting faculty, Fellows, partners and directors from her seemingly inexhaustible world of friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

Two days before she succumbed to a long battle with leukemia, Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors honored Bailey at a luncheon at the Sulgrave Club in Washington, DC. Long-time friends and fellow directors Tom Mansbach, Adena Testa and Peter Wilson-Smith spoke at the luncheon about her role in involving them in Salzburg Global’s work, and her ability to bring people from diverse perspectives together to tackle the world’s toughest problems. 
 
Salzburg Global President Stephen Salyer presented Bailey with a book and CD of distinguished lectures given with her support since 2004, the first by Bill Emmott, then editor of The Economist. Bailey spoke twice during the luncheon to thank her Salzburg Global family and to express her devotion to the many lives, institutions and policies influenced by the organization’s work.
 

Long service

Bailey Morris-Eck first joined the Board of Salzburg Global Seminar in 1992. In addition to the lecture series on International Media, Economics, and Trade that she endowed, she was also an active recruiter of Fellows, faculty and board members, drawing on her long career in the media and public policy. Bailey played an active role in encouraging and supporting numerous Salzburg Global programs, including the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change (launched in 2007) and Salzburg Global Seminar’s Cutler Center for the Rule of Law in Washington (co-chairing its advisory board from its inception in 2010). 
 
Bailey began her career in journalism, serving as US economics correspondent for both The Independent (London) and The Times of London and as senior correspondent for London Financial News. She was later an appointed commissioner of Maryland Public Television and founded the International Women’s Media Foundation in 1990, with the mission to “unleash the potential of women journalists as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media.”
 
She later moved into public policy, serving in two White House Administrations, Presidents Carter and Clinton, the latter as senior advisor to the Counselor to the President with primary focus on trade policy. She also served as vice president of the Brookings Institution, as senior associate in charge of the global public policy initiative of the Reuters Foundation and as a fellow and editor of the policy journal of the Institute of International Economics (now the Peterson Institute). 
 
Active on the boards of many diverse organizations in addition to Salzburg Global Seminar, she was also a trustee of the American Funds complex of mutual funds, the Walters Art Museum and WYPR, a US regional public radio network. She was also a member of the editorial board of the German Marshall Fund, an editorial advisor to the European Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
 

Great enthusiasm

An obituary published in the Washington Post describes Bailey as someone who lived life like she was on a deadline. It adds, “Bailey’s career was important to her, but people were more important. She gathered communities wherever she went. For decades she brought people together at her dinner table, whether they were new to the country, the neighborhood or the job. She will be remembered for her laughter, her hospitality, her enthusiastic dancing and her relentless optimism.”
 
Tom Mansbach, a friend of Bailey’s for many decades, who co-chaired with her the Cutler Center for the Rule of Law, remembers her as “an incredible life force whose focus on family, friends and ideas molded her vision of a life well spent. People were the center of her world, and to be on the ‘Bailey Team’ meant a life of caring support, great conversation and unparalleled hospitality. A daughter of Baltimore, her charming approach to life eased all she knew through it as though it were a salon dealing with the most important issues facing the world. 

“Bailey always had her finger on the tempo of the day; she knew on which issues to focus, how to approach them and with whom to ally herself – always highly capable colleagues who could assure that her ideas would carry the day. That was not a heavy task as her ideas were always insightful, creative and forward-looking. There was no issue in which she took an interest that was not significantly improved by her attention to detail and elegant leadership.

“Throughout her life, she championed the important roles which women and young people play in crafting fresh ideas, making more relevant to today's world the societal structures and policies left to them by their predecessors.”

Adena Testa, who worked with Bailey on numerous projects in the Baltimore region before joining her on the Salzburg Global board, added: “Bailey loved life... She cared deeply about the world around her. Her enthusiasm drew her friends to her and to the projects for which she worked tirelessly. She was also very determined. Saying ‘no’ to Bailey was almost impossible. These qualities showed in everything Bailey did, including her passionate involvement with Salzburg Global Seminar. In fact, she embodied the values and spirit of Salzburg. Bailey understood that working together people can make our world a better place… Bailey was a dear friend who had a profound influence on me. Her warmth, integrity, passion and love for those around her have inspired me, in fact changed me. She is my role model as I try to walk in her very large shoes.”
 
Peter Wilson-Smith, also a fellow Salzburg Global Director who knew her as a fellow journalist, said: “Bailey was a wonderful colleague and a dear friend who you could always rely on as a superb source of advice, not to mention great fun. Her insight, good judgement and charm meant she was very effective in making things happen.” 
 
Stephen Salyer, Salzburg Global President, added: “Bailey is irreplaceable, but her spirit will live on at Salzburg Global. She set the bar very high for big ideas and for people able to imagine a better world. Her eye for talent brought a steady stream of rising young leaders to our programs, and her influence will live on through their witness and contributions.”
 

Lasting tribute

In light of Bailey’s enormous contributions to Salzburg Global and the warmth with which she is remembered, a group of friends and admirers undertook to raise an endowment fund to ensure that the Bailey Morris-Eck Lecture is given annually and in perpetuity. The fund drive has been enormously successful, allowing its remit to be broadened to include short-term residencies by journalists from around the world. 
 
Friends and supporters of Bailey are welcomed to help continue her legacy at Salzburg Global Seminar by contributing the fund for the Bailey Morris-Eck Lectureship: www.salzburgglobal.org/baileymorrisecklecture