Bridget Burns, ACE Fellow

Bridget Burns is an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Arizona State University under the mentorship of President Michael Crow. The ACE Fellows Program is a highly selective program designed to strengthen leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior administrators to lead colleges and universities. As part of her fellowship experience, Bridget’s responsibilities include the facilitation and support of the University Innovation Alliance.

As Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor for the Oregon University System from 2009 through July 2013, Bridget served as a key policy advisor and the official representative of the Chancellor to internal and external stakeholders of the Oregon University System. She provided leadership for programs, policy initiatives, and mandates of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education while also leading federal and state government relations on behalf of the university system. She facilitated the successful passage of many important legislative measures during her leadership of government relations, including the historic passage of SB 242. In 2012, she created and led the Oregon Social Business Challenge, a statewide student entrepreneurship competition with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Bridget received the 2013-14 Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation in Government Relations, the national award for innovation in a field encompassing advocacy and outreach efforts on behalf of colleges and universities to governors, state legislators and other key policymakers. Awarded by peers spanning the landscape of higher education, the Crawford Award is awarded annually by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Previously a National Associate for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, Burns was also an advisor to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS.) Bridget demonstrates a deep commitment to public service through her work on several statewide public boards including the State Board of Higher Education, Oregon State Commission on Children and Families, Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature, and as the Chair of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.  

Her previous award achievements include: Portland Business Journal “Forty under 40”, Oregon State University “Young Alumni of the Year”, Oregon Student Association “Student of the Year”, “The Jo Anne Trowe Woman of Distinction award”, and “The Leadership in Social Change Award” from OSU.

Burns is also a doctoral student in Higher Education Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University.