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A southern Californian by birth, Carl Baker graduated from the University of Southern California with a psychology degree, followed by post-graduate work in philosophy/theology at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA.  He gained a love of public service during his time in the seminary, traveling abroad to teach religion to migrant youth in Lima, Peru.  But Carl chose a secular career path upon his return to the U.S.—he entered Villanova Law School, and was elected Chair of the American Bar Association/Law Student Division in his second year there.

 

Carl began his legal career specializing in medical malpractice and insurance defense, practiced corporate law in New York City, and eventually returned to CA to assume the role of Director of Legal Affairs at the Walt Disney Company.  A management position with the Screen Actors Guild followed, until Carl became a founding partner and VP of Legal Affairs with Inferno Distribution, negotiating international distribution for motion pictures. 

An economic slump changed the landscape of moviemaking but provided an opportunity with Bank of America Home Loans, where Carl was hired to resolve lawsuits against the bank for improper foreclosures after the housing bubble burst. When his B of A department was disbanded, Carl took a sabbatical year in 2016, traveling to Mexico and Europe where he tested his command of Spanish.

 

Carl continues to give back in his Palm Springs community, Carl served on the Board of Directors for Desert AIDS Project; a non-profit, federally-qualified health center that provides medical care and support services to Coachella Valley residents.  In addition, Carl is Vice-President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Desert Chapter.  In 2018 Carl became a Commissioner for the Palm Springs Sustainability Commission.  Additionally, Carl is active in Lambda Legal, the Human Rights Campaign, Equality California, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, among others.

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