Dean Marcilynn A. Burke studies leadership, property, environmental and natural resources law. At Oregon Law, she serves as the Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law. Her scholarly works have included features in the Notre Dame Law Review, the Land Use and Environmental Law Review, the University of Cincinnati Law Review, and the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum.
From 2009-2013, Dean Burke served in the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Initially she served as Deputy Director for Programs and Policy in the BLM, and then as the Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior 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 associate dean and associate professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, where she had served as a member of the faculty since 2002.
Dean Burke earned her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, having been named to Phi Beta Kappa. She then earned her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was an editor for both the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the Yale Journal of International Law. She clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia, and later joined the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton where her practice focused on environmental law, antitrust, and civil and criminal litigation. Dean Burke had also served as a visiting professor of law at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, NJ in 2001.