Sheila P. Burke chairs the federal public policy group at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, in Washington, D.C. She is also a faculty research fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and a member of the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as a distinguished visitor at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and a research professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.
Burke was chief of staff to Senator Bob Dole, from 1986 to 1996, when he was Senate minority and then the majority leader. In 1995, she was elected as secretary of the Senate, the body’s chief administrative officer.
From 1996 to 2000, she was executive dean and lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also taught classes on health and government policy in the undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs.
Burke joined the Smithsonian Institution in 2000 as under secretary for American museums and national programs and in 2004 became deputy secretary and chief operating officer, a position in which she served until September 2007.
Burke served as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2000 to 2007, and a member of the board of trustees of the Kaiser Family Foundation, serving as chair of the board from 2005 to 2008. Burke serves on the boards of The Chubb Corporation and WellPoint Inc., is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the board of visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies, the board of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the council of the Institute of Medicine.
She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in 2004 and to the National Academy of Public Administration.
She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1982 and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1973.