Jeffrey Baker has been named as deputy CEO of Illinois REALTORS, a move that puts him in line to oversee the real estate trade association in 2021. Baker, 38, is an Auburn native who has served as the association’s associate general counsel and worked in various capacities with the association since 2014.

Ed Neaves, president-elect of Illinois REALTORS, served as the search committee chair.

“Jeff was selected after a national search for candidates,” Neaves said. “His legal, management and extensive political experience, together with his knowledge of Springfield and Illinois, as well as the association’s culture were paramount factors in his selection.”

Baker’s selection puts him on track to take over for Illinois REALTORS CEO Gary Clayton, who has led the association for more than 30 years. In 2021, Baker would become just the fourth full-time association leader in its 103-year history.

“Illinois REALTORS’ staff is second to none,” Baker said. “From my first day with the association, the positive work environment was overwhelming and together, we work incredibly hard every day for the most professional class of REALTORS in the country. I can’t think of a better place to come to work or a better group of people to work for every day.”

Baker is a graduate of the University of Illinois-Champaign, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Baker has extensive experience working on state and congressional campaigns. He previously had his own law practice and worked for the Sorling Northrup law firm in Springfield.

Baker lives in Springfield with his wife, Kim, and three children.