Sheila P. Burke serves as a Senior Public Policy Advisor at Baker Donelson in Washington, D.C. and Chair of Government Affairs and Public Policy, and is also Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She served as Executive Dean of the school from 1996-2000. Previously she had been Chief of Staff to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (1985-1996), a professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Finance (1979-1982), and Deputy Staff Director of that committee (1982-1985). She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Academy of Nursing. She serves on the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and is a Distinguished Visitor at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown Law Center. She serves on several boards including Ascension Health, the Commonwealth Fund, Abt, and Chubb. She served as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (2000-2007), and the Kaiser Family Foundation (1999-2008), serving as chair, and as a member of the National Academy of Medicine National Council.
In addition to her government and academic experience, Ms. Burke served as the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. As the chief operating officer, she had responsibility for the overall operations of the 19 individual museums and galleries, the National Zoo and nine research facilities located in Washington, D.C., five states and 150 foreign countries with revenues of approximately $1 billion and an endowment of $1 billion. During her seven-year tenure at the Smithsonian, she oversaw the completion of the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Museum of the American Indian and the renovation of the Smithsonian’s Reynolds Center for Art and Portraiture. She was also involved in the initial planning for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She began her Smithsonian tenure in 2000 as the undersecretary for American Museums and National Programs, becoming Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer in 2004. Ms. Burke holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University, a BS in nursing from the University of San Francisco, and worked as a staff nurse in Berkeley, California.