Bridget Burns

Executive Director
University Innovation Alliance

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 “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 research universities igniting a movement through their collaborative work to innovate together, scale “what works”, close their achievement gaps, and improve outcomes for all students. The UIA was developed during Dr. Burns tenure as 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 previously served as 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 has a Master’s in Public Policy from Oregon State University, and an Ed.D in Higher Education, Leadership, and Policy from Vanderbilt University.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.