David W. Baker

David Baker

Present Position

Senior Vice President, Field Services for AT&T (Retired)

Chapter Affiliation

Colorado School of Mines


Dr. David W. Baker has been a full member of Sigma Xi since 1979, a life member since 2003, a member of the Committee on Finance since July 2012, and Treasurer/Chair of the Committee on Finance since July 2016.  His educational background includes a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University (WVU) and a Ph.D. in Mineral Economics (specializing in Operations Research) from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM).  He has maintained close ties to both WVU and CSM, including election to the WVU Academy of Industrial Engineers in 1995, serving on the Visiting Committee of the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering department for over 20 years, the Visiting Committee of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources for the past 3 years.   He started his professional career as a system engineer/project manager in the Raw Materials Research and Development Division of Weyerhaeuser Company.   

He spent the next 23 years in a variety of increasingly responsible financial management positions, starting  as an operations research analyst in the Finance organization of Getty Oil Company, doing statistical risk analysis and parametric financial analysis of major ($100 million+) domestic and international mining investments. He joined Hughes Aircraft Company (subsequently Hughes Electronics and ultimately DIRECTV) in 1985 in a financial position, and quickly rose to division controller and by 1994 was Group Controller of the Hughes Space& Communications Group.    As Group Controller, Dr. Baker was responsible for all financial management, internal controls, and reporting of the $1.6 Million Space & Communications Group, including managing approximately $80 million per year in research projects related to satellite communications technology.  In that role, he developed expertise in Federal Acquisition Regulations and the associated Cost Accounting Standards, because they did a mixture of both government and commercial work in the same facilities under the same cost centers.  This was an unusual arrangement in the industry at that time that required exceptional financial controls for compliance and attracted a high degree of continual audit scrutiny from the Defense Contract Audit Agency.  

After serving as the corporate project manager for the $9.5 billion divestiture of the non-space defense business of Hughes Aircraft Company to Raytheon in late 1997, Dr. Baker moved to Tokyo to assume the position of Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors of DIRECTV Japan a few months after it started broadcasting.  After several years that business ultimately failed, and he negotiated the sale of the subscriber base in exchange for equity in their primary competitor and liquidated the remainder of DIRECTV Japan for less than 50% of the Board-authorized liquidation budget of $600 million.  Dr. Baker then returned to the U.S. and spent a year as the VP of Financial Planning at DIRECTV Latin America and then joined the DIRECTV Corporate Legal Department as VP of International and Special Projects, where he managed several foreign ventures, a number of acquisitions and divestitures, and the highly successful $2.4 billion restructuring of DIRECTV Latin America in Chapter 11.  He left DIRECTV at the end of 2005 (following its acquisition by News Corporation), spent 2 years as an independent restructuring consultant, then re-joined DIRECTV in 2008 as Senior Vice President of Field Services, running a $2.2+ billion network of approximately 15,000 installation and service technicians in all 50 states.  Dr. Baker retired from DIRECTV (now a part of the AT&T family) in December 2016.