The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced that DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Ed.D, has been named its next CEO and president following an extensive national search.

Dr. Burns-Wallace’s appointment will be effective on August 7, 2023, when she will succeed Susan Chambers, who has served as interim president since September 2022. Chambers will return to her position on the Board of Trustees.

A native of Kansas City, Dr. Burns-Wallace brings a wide range of experience to the Foundation including the public sector, foreign affairs, and higher education. She began her career as a diplomat working for the U.S. State Department, including assignments in China, South Africa, and Washington D.C. 

She shifted to higher education at multiple institutions including the University of Kansas where she served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies.

Governor Laura Kelly recruited her to join her cabinet within Kansas state government as the Secretary of Administration and the Chief Information Technology Officer. Dr. Burns-Wallace was the first African American to hold either cabinet seat in the state’s history. 

She recently stepped down from that position after four years to return to academia, most recently holding a faculty appointment at the University of Southern California. She has also been consulting with nonprofits and higher education institutions, as well as serving as a member on the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations and on the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Burns-Wallace has the experience and leadership capabilities to further Ewing Kauffman’s legacy, catalyzing ideas and supporting solutions designed to improve education, boost entrepreneurship, and help our communities and individuals thrive,” said Esther George, chair of the Kauffman Foundation Board of Trustees and the search committee. 

“My father started his foundation because he wanted to see real change happen for those who need it most,” said Julia Irene Kauffman, chair of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Family Foundation. “I look forward to supporting Dr. Burns-Wallace as she builds on Mr. K’s legacy, working with others to create impact in Kansas City, learning from other communities, sharing what works and, importantly, what’s not working with others across the nation.”

The Foundation’s work prioritizes Kansas City and the surrounding region, championing initiatives, organizations, and communities that test innovative solutions and seek to change conditions that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity.  

Dr. Burns-Wallace said she grew up seeing Mr. Kauffman in the community and knowing the impact and engagement of the Kauffman Foundation throughout the city. Over the years, she says she’s developed an even greater appreciation of the Foundation’s deeply held values, rich legacy, and the commitment to community. 

“ I look forward to working closely with the Foundation’s associates, our community members, and grantees to impact lives and transform communities.” Dr. Burns-Wallace said.