Marcilynn A.  Burke, JD

Marcilynn A. Burke, JD

University of Oregon

Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, University of Oregon School of Law

Expertise: Scotuslegal expertSupreme CourtLawLeadershipCourt

Marcilynn A. Burke came to the University of Oregon School of Law in July 2017, becoming the first black female dean in the law school’s 134-year history.  Before arriving in Eugene, she was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Houston Law Center, where she was the Law Center’s first black person to hold that position. From 2009-2013, Dean Burke served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Initially, she served as Deputy Director for Programs and Policy at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where she was another first. She then worked as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management following a 2011 appointment by President Barack Obama. In that role, she helped develop the land use, resource management, and regulatory oversight policies that are administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, with a geographic scope that encompassed the continental U.S. and Alaska. Following her term at the BLM, she resumed her role as an associate professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, where she had served as a member of the faculty since 2002, and later became its associate dean.

Dean Burke earned her JD from Yale Law School and bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"She has certainly displayed what we call the judicial temperament. There's really no room for challenging her: her experience, her knowledge of the law, her expertise."

“We learned a lot about this country during the hearings—its promise and its failures,” said Marcilynn A. Burke, dean and Dave Frohnmayer chair in leadership and law at University of Oregon School of Law. “Today what we learned was that a Black woman with

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