Burke, director of Heritage’s Center for Education Policy, follows in the footsteps of two well-known colleagues who previously served on Mason’s board in the late 1990s: founder and former president Ed Feulner and Edwin Meese III, the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow emeritus.
It was during Feulner and Meese’s tenure when the university made important strides and became a national leader in programs for economics and law. Today, Feulner is continuing to help guide Virginia’s universities as chairman of the Commission on Higher Education Board Appointments.
Now, Burke will have an opportunity to shape George Mason University’s direction as a member of the 16-member governing body. Youngkin appointed her to serve a four-year term on the board.
“I am honored to be appointed by Gov. Youngkin to serve on the board of visitors at George Mason University, an institution with a strong commitment to protecting and promoting free speech and open academic inquiry on campus,” Burke said. “George Mason is one of the premier research universities in Virginia and enjoys an excellent reputation for maintaining affordable tuition for students and a rigorous academic environment. I am looking forward to working with the existing board members and university President Gregory Washington to continue that tradition, and am particularly proud, as an alumna of GMU, to be able to serve in this capacity.”
As director of the Center for Education Policy, Burke oversees Heritage’s research and policy on issues pertaining to preschool, K-12, and higher education reform. She earned her Ph.D. in education policy from George Mason University, where she examined the intersection of education choice and institutional theory.
This is Burke’s second stint serving Youngkin. Prior to taking office, the governor-elect selected Burke for his transition team to offer advice and guidance on education. (Youngkin also chose former Heritage president Kay C. James to co-chair his transition team; James was later appointed Virginia’s secretary of the commonwealth.)
In his June 30 announcement, Youngkin praised Burke and his other appointees for their knowledge and dedication to education.
“I’m delighted to appoint this group of proven leaders in their respective fields to help ensure every student has a best-in-class education,” Youngkin said. “I have tasked these innovators to bring their expertise as parents, industry leaders, educators, and policymakers to ensure our classrooms and our campuses prepare students for success in life. This includes providing equal access to educational opportunities regardless of background or zip code, protecting and promoting free speech, restoring the ability to have civil discourse, keeping tuition affordable, and ensuring that all Virginians have access to in-demand career pathways. Together, we will make Virginia the best place to learn across a lifetime.”