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Sheila Burke Joins Baker Donelson's Federal Public Policy Group

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(Washington, DC / October 6, 2009) Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC announced that Sheila Burke has become a Senior Public Policy Advisor to the Firm’s Federal Public Policy Group. Ms. Burke, who is also a faculty member at Harvard and Georgetown Universities, will work principally with the Firm's Health Care Practice Group in the Washington, DC office as well as with the attorneys and advisors throughout the Firm.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sheila Burke for many years. Most recently, we worked together at the Bipartisan Policy Center, along with my former Senate colleagues Tom Daschle and Bob Dole, to formulate our plan for national health care reform,” said former Senator Howard Baker, Jr. “Sheila is deeply respected on both sides of the aisle and I’m delighted to welcome her to the Baker Donelson family where she will indeed be a valuable part of the Firm.”

Ms. Burke serves on the boards of the Bipartisan Policy Center, The Partnership for Public Service, The Chubb Corporation, and WellPoint Inc. She is also 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 as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America.

“In a city teeming with impressive, accomplished people, Sheila Burke ranks right at the top,” said Keith Kennedy, chair of the Firm's Federal Public Policy Group and the Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office. “Her knowledge of health care issues combined with her background in senior positions on Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian and at Harvard and Georgetown will be a huge asset to our already impressive health care team led by Dick Cowart, Lance Leggitt and Nancy Johnson.”

Ms. Burke continues as a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she teaches a health policy course and developed and currently co-directs a public policy simulation exercise required for all first year candidates for a Masters in Public Policy. She is also a faculty research fellow at Harvard’s Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy. From 1996 to 2000, she was Executive Dean and lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School. She is also a Research Professor at the Public Policy Institute and a Distinguished Visitor at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

In addition to her health care and academic experience, Ms. Burke served as the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research complex, where she worked for seven years. During her tenure at the Smithsonian, she oversaw the completion of the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center and the National Museum of the American Indian and the renovation of the Reynolds Center for Art and Portraiture. She was also involved in the initial planning for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Ms. Burke served for 19 years on Capitol Hill, first as a member of the Senate Finance Committee where she was responsible for legislation relating to Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs. She became Deputy Staff Director of the Committee and then Deputy Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and then Chief of Staff. In 1995, she was elected as Secretary of the Senate, the chief administrative officer of the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Burke 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. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Military Medicine from the University of the Uniformed Health Services in 1999 and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Marymount University in 2005. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

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Johanna Burkett
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