Marcilynn A. Burke is dean and the Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law at the University of Oregon School of Law. As dean, she oversees a team of almost 150 faculty and staff, four degree-granting programs (J.D., LL.M., M.A., and M.S.) and an undergraduate legal studies program.
Prior to University of Oregon Law school, Burke was associate dean at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). She took a leave of absence from UHLC to work as an appointee of President Barack Obama in the U.S. Department of the Interior, first in the Bureau of Land Management as Deputy Director of Programs and Policy and later as Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM). As Acting ASLM, Burke oversaw four agencies—including the BLM—with over 12,000 employees and budgets totaling more than $1.7 billion. In 2013 Burke returned to UHLC as a tenured associate professor, where she had taught since 2002.
Burke’s areas of specialty include leadership and land use, property, and natural resources law. She has served as speaker, panelist, moderator, and lecturer in myriad academic and professional presentations over the course of her career, including appearances at the American Bar Association Associate Deans Conference and the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting. She has given congressional testimony on matters concerning the environment, published numerous journal articles, and been the recipient of many honors and grants, including the Faculty of the Year Award from the Black Law Students Association at UHLC. Burke is a founding member of the Environmental Law Reporter and Environmental Law Institute Press Advisory Board and is an active participant in such organizations as the AALS; the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation; and the Yale Law Women Summer Mentorship Program. She currently serves as the boards of the Law School Admission Council, The Nature Conservancy in Oregon, and the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics (co-chair).