Sheila P. Burke was the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for American Museums and National Programs between 2000 and 2004 and Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian between 2004 and 2007.
Prior to arriving at the Smithsonian, Burke spent her career on Capitol Hill and in higher education. Between 1986 and 1996, she was the chief of staff for Senator Bob Dole, and in 1995, Burke was elected Secretary of the Senate. From 1996 to 2000, she served as the executive dean and a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
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.