Title: Executive Director, University Innovation Alliance
Burns is the founding executive director of University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a leading national coalition of public research universities committed to increasing the diversity of college graduates in the United States. Burns has advised university presidents and system chancellors as well as state and federal policy leaders on strategies to expand access to higher education, address costs and promote completion for students of all backgrounds. Named one of the “16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly, UIA was developed during Burns’ tenure as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Arizona State University. Burns held multiple roles within in the Oregon University System, including serving as chief of staff and senior policy advisor, where she won the national award for innovation in higher education government relations. She was a national associate for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and has served on several statewide governing boards including ones governing higher education institutions, financial aid policy and policy areas impacting children and families. She received her Ed.D. in higher education, leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University.