For the past decade, Dr. Bridget Burns has advised university presidents, system chancellors, and 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, she is the founding Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA). The UIA is the ground-breaking national consortium of public research universities igniting a movement through their collaborative work (innovate together, scaling “what works,” and broadly diffusing what they learn) to close their achievement gaps and improve outcomes for all students. The UIA was developed during Dr. Burns' tenure at an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at Arizona State University.
Dr. 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.