*Sheila P. Burke

Strategic Advisor
901 K Street, N.W.
Suite 900
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
T: 202.508.3457
F: 202.220.2257

Sheila P. Burke is a strategic advisor in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C., office and serves as chair of the Firm's Government Relations and Public Policy Group. Ms. Burke brings a deep knowledge of federal policy and programs drawn from her distinguished career in the private and public sectors, to provide clients with the perspective they need for effective strategic and public policy decision-making.

In addition to her role at the Firm, Ms. Burke continues as a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she teaches a number of health policy courses and co-directs a public policy simulation exercise. From 1996 to 2000, she was executive dean and a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School. She also serves as Distinguished Visitor at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

Ms. Burke served for 19 years on Capitol Hill. Early in her career, she was a member of the staff of the Senate Finance Committee responsible for legislation relating to Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs. She ultimately became deputy staff director of the Finance Committee. She went on to serve as deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and later as his Chief of Staff. In these roles, she was involved with numerous legislative issues including those related to Medicare, Medicaid and the Maternal and Child Health programs, welfare reform, budget reconciliation and the previous legislative efforts to reform health care. In 1995, she was elected as secretary of the Senate, which is the chief administrative officer of the United States Senate.

In addition to her government and academic experience, Ms. Burke served as the deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex. As the chief operating officer, she had responsibility for the overall operations of the 19 individual museums and galleries, the National Zoo and nine research facilities located in Washington, D.C., five states and 150 foreign countries with revenues of approximately $1 billion and an endowment of $1 billion. During her seven-year tenure at the Smithsonian, she oversaw the completion of the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Museum of the American Indian and the renovation of the Smithsonian's Reynolds Center for Art and Portraiture. She was also involved in the initial planning for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She began her Smithsonian tenure in 2000 as the undersecretary for American Museums and National Programs, becoming deputy secretary and chief operating officer in 2004.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator – "Integrating Care for High-Cost Populations," Bipartisan Policy Center (June 20, 2016)
  • Commencement Address – New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing (May 23, 2016)
  • Commencement Address – Columbia University School of Nursing (May 17, 2016)
  • Moderator – Bipartisan Policy Center Affordable Medicines Forum (May 10, 2016)
  • Speaker – "2015 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference," American Academy of Nursing (October 15-17, 2015)
  • Moderator – "Long-Term Services and Supports for the 21st Century: Delivery and Financing," Alliance for Health Reform (July 15, 2015)
  • Panelist – "Aftermath of SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell," ProHealth Care Briefing (July 1, 2015)
  • Moderator – "National Summit on Health Care Price, Cost and Quality of Transparency," Second National Summit on Health Care Price, Cost and Quality Transparency conference (March 16-18, 2015)
  • Panelist – "Leading Change: How Nursing Can Shape Health Care Policy," Columbia University (February 10, 2015)
  • Moderator – "Bridge Builder Breakfast" and "Delivery System Reform Panel," Bipartisan Policy Center (January 22, 2015)
  • Speaker – "Trends in Long Term Care – The Silver Tsunami: A post-election view from D.C.," Baker Donelson Long Term Care Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee (November 13, 2014)
  • Panelist – "The 114th Congress and Its Impact on Health Reform," Windsor National Associates Bi-Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., (November 8, 2014)
  • Speaker – "The 2014 U.S. Midterm Elections: What's at Stake for Health Reform," webinar, The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health (November 7, 2014)
  • Moderator – "International Standards for Effective Care Delivery," AARP International and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease Conference, Washington, D.C. (October 10, 2014)
  • Moderator – "Ebola Epidemic," Harvard Kennedy School (September 9, 2014)
  • Speaker – "2014 Health Care, The Bumpy Road Ahead: Politics and Policy," University of San Francisco (August 28, 2014)
  • Speaker – "The Affordable Care Act: A User's Guide to Implementation," webinar, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (December 12, 2013)
  • Keynote Speaker – Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum's fall summit "Health Care Reform and You: Professional Viewpoints," Baton Rouge, Louisiana (October 31, 2013)
  • Panelist – "Affordable Care Act," Southeastern Regulators Association Conference (SERA 2013), Nashville, Tennessee (October 4, 2013)
  • Co-author – "The Affordable Care Act: A User's Guide to Implementation," Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings (October 2013)
  • Panelist – "Medicare Cost Reduction," The Alliance for Health Reform (July 22, 2013)
  • Co-author – "Advanced Nurses Lower Costs, Improve Care," Politico (May 7, 2013)
  • Co-author – "CCIIO Releases Federally-Facilitated Exchange Guidance," Baker Donelson's Health Law STAT alert (May 18, 2012)
  • Co-author – "Health Reform Rules Finalized for Summary of Health Benefits Coverage Requirements," Baker Donelson's Health Law STAT alert (February 21, 2012)
  • Co-author – "Thirteen Things To Know About Health Care Insurance Exchanges: The New Marketplace," Baker Donelson's Baker's Dozen white paper (2010)

Professional Activities

  • Member – Institute of Medicine, National Council (2012 – present); Chair, Nominating Committee (2013 – present)
  • Member – Board of Regents, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (2011 – present)
  • Member – Board of Directors, The Chubb Corporation, Warren, New Jersey (1997 – present)
  • Member – Board of Directors, Ascension, St. Louis, Missouri (2014 – present)
  • Member – Board of Directors, Accolade, Inc. (2015)
  • Member – Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Washington, D.C. (1997 – present)
  • Member – Board of Visitors, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University (2003 – present)
  • Research Professor – Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University (2004 – present)
  • Member – Board of Directors, Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, DC (2008 – present)
  • Distinguished Visitor – O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown Law Center, Georgetown University (2007 – present)
  • Member – Board of Directors, WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana (1997 – 2013)
  • Member – Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement (2006 – 2012)
  • Member – National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research (2009 – 2013)
  • Member – Commission to Build a Healthier America, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey (2008 – 2013)
  • Chair – Committee on Future Directions for the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (2009 – 2010)
  • Vice Chair – Institute of Medicine Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows Program Advisory Board (2002 – 2009)
  • Member – Board of Trustees, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (1999 – 2008); Chairman of the Board (2005 – 2008)
  • Member – Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac) (2000 – 2007)
  • Chair – Committee on the Assessment of the U.S. Drug Safety System, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (2005 – 2006)


  • Recipient – Helen Manzer Award, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing (2016)
  • Recipient – Second Century Award for Excellence in Health Care, Columbia University School of Nursing (2016)
  • Named as one of Profiles in Diversity Journal's 2015 "Women Worth Watching"
  • Fellow – American Academy of Nursing
  • Fellow – Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow – National Academy of Public Administration
  • Honorary Doctorate in Military Medicine, University of the Uniformed Services (1999)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Marymount University (2005)
  • David Rall Medal, Institute of Medicine (2008)
  • Robert Mills Award, Smithsonian American Art Museum (2007)
  • Smithsonian Institution Exceptional Service Award (2005)


  • John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, M.P.A. (1982)
  • University of San Francisco, B.S. Nursing (1973)