Paul Manuel Aviles Baker

Senior Director of Research and Strategic Innovation, Center for Advanced Communications Policy

Member Of:
  • Center for Advanced Communications Policy
  • School of Public Policy
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Paul M.A. Baker, Ph.D., is the Senior Director, Research and Strategic Innovation at the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP), and Principal Research Scientist with the School of Public Policy. Baker also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor, Centre for Disability Law & Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Previously he was the Associate Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). Recent research projects include innovation driven workforce development, mapping innovation networks in higher education, education policy evaluation and implementation of accessible technologies. His work in policy studies include barriers to the adoption of wireless technologies by people with disabilities, teleworking and people with disabilities; social media innovation, online collaboration and virtual communities. He is also involved in international policy research and collaborative policy networks, especially as it relates to issues of technology and usability policy, workforce development and innovation diffusion.

Baker holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Emory University, M.P. in Urban Planning from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. He has served on a variety of national boards and panels, and as a grant proposal reviewer for U.S.  Department of Education, the Academy of Finland, the Israel Science Foundation, and the NTIA, US Department of Commerce. He serves also on editorial boards and as a reviewer for 15 journals. His co-edited (with Jarice Hanson and Jeremy Hunsinger) volume, “The Unconnected: Social Justice, Participation, and Engagement in the Information Society” was published in 2013. 

  • Ph.D., George Mason University, Public Policy
  • M.T.S., Emory University, Theological Studies
  • M.A., George Mason University, International Commerce and Policy
  • M.P., University of Virginia, Urban Planning
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin, Zoology
Areas of
  • Accessibility
  • Community
  • Disability Policy
  • Information And Communications Technology Policy
  • Social Media
  • Usability
  • Virtual Collaboration
  • Virtual Community
  • Workforce Development
Research Fields:
  • Information and Communications Technology Policy
  • S&E Organizations, Education, Careers and Workforce
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
  • Europe
  • Latin America and Caribbean
  • North America
  • South America
  • United States
  • Autism
  • Communication
  • Community engagement
  • Diffusion of Technology
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Education Policy
  • Emerging Technologies - Innovation
  • Governance
  • Higher Education: Teaching and Learning
  • Innovation
  • International Collaboration and Partnership Development
  • Perspectives on technology
  • Religion and Politics
  • Technology
  • Technology Management and Policy
Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • Imagining Futures: A Collaborative Policy Design for Wearable Computing
       In: Futures [Peer Reviewed]

    March 2017

    The rapidly expanding market for wearable computing devices (wearables), driven by advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), wireless access, and public acceptance of a design aesthetic, is indicative of the near limitless potential for changing the relationship of users to information context(s). As the adoption of wearable devices spreads, there are cultural and social impacts that represent both barriers and opportunities, with subsequent policy ramifications. All too often designers, technologists, and policymakers operate independently developing products that are out of sync, lack interoperability, or are hindered by well meaning, but obstructive policy. This paper proposes a futures-based, iterative policy-informed design framework for developing wearable devices that guides interdisciplinary collaborators early in the process of designing a research & development plan. This approach allows for the development of “images of the future” through which various potential implications and effects of device design in social, technological, and regulatory contexts can be explored.

  • Learning Futures with Mixed Sentience
       In: Futures [Peer Reviewed]

    March 2017

    • People with disabilities have benefited from the use of assistive technologies that compensate for, or augment functioning.
    • Socially assistive robots (SAR) both assist with functioning, and engage users socially, often as service, co- robots and companions.
    • Trends in networked learning communities suggest that membership and rules of exchange will define function, engagement and experiences.
    • Future communities will likely be characterized by high degrees of interdependence within and varying degrees of openness to outside exchanges.
    • The ethics of human-robot exchanges within mixed learning communities are undergirded by respect for the interdependence of robots and humans.

Internet Publications

  • Accessibility, Usability, and the Design of Wearables and Wirelessly Connected Devices

    September 2017

    Researchers at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) have conducted a review of representative applications and examples of currently available wearable and connected technologies. Drawing on the findings, the research brief explores the potential impact of inclusive design principles on future device development for users with disabilities – a critical approach to ensuring that these technologies truly meet the needs of this target population. Inclusively designed technologies can: 1) enhance accessibility, 2) increase independence and community participation, and 3) support a more inclusive society, a trend which we feel will become increasingly the norm in the future.