Dr. Bridget Burns

Named one of the “16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly magazine, Dr. Bridget Burns is a national expert on higher education, innovation, and student success. To date, she has served as a trusted advisor to 45+ college presidents and chancellors, in addition to providing strategic guidance to policymakers, edtech companies and philanthropy. Her work has been highlighted in national outlets like The New York Times, Fast Company, 60 Minutes, and was featured in the documentary “Unlikely”.

Dr. Burns was an American Council on Education Fellow at Arizona State University where she worked directly alongside ASU President Michael Crow. Before her ACE Fellowship she had an extensive career in Oregon higher education including service as the Senior Policy Advisor and Chief of Staff for the Oregon University System. She received the 2012 Edward Crawford award for innovation in government relations for her role leading expansive higher education governance reform legislation passage in the state of Oregon. 

Bridget was recognized by Diverse Issues as one of 35 Leading Women in Higher Education in 2020. She served on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force at the request of Governor Gavin Newsome, and has received numerous gubernatorial appointments to various Oregon state boards overseeing higher education institutions, student financial aid, and policies impacting children and families in Oregon. Dr. Burns was an Associate for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and currently serves on the advisory board for Working Nation. 


Bridget received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Masters degree in Public Policy from Oregon State University, and her Doctorate of Education in Higher Education, Leadership & Policy from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Bridget Burns

National Expert on Higher Education Innovation & Student Success


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