Mark Burnham is a Senior Partner of Ideas for Action, LLC, and President of The Burnham Group, a federal relations consulting firm. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in management, leadership and strategy, with particular emphasis on advocacy and strategy for universities, large research facilities, and associations.  His experience has included work both as an outside consultant and as a senior administrator at the presidential cabinet level. His roles within several major research universities have included Vice President of Governmental Affairs at Michigan State and Director of Federal Relations for Research at the University of Michigan’s Washington office.

Mark’s advocacy work has spanned all of the major funding and regulatory federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, NSF, NASA, NIH, DARPA, NOAA, NIST, NEA, NEH, DOD and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This work has included several reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act, the Farm Bill and annual appropriations bills.  Mark has a deep understanding of how universities operate, as well as an extensive history of working on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies. Mark was  instrumental in securing funding for numerous research projects, including several Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).  Successes have included securing a bioenergy research facility, establishing the second urban agricultural research center, and a $730 million nuclear physics research facility.

Over the course of his 20-year career, Mark has amassed a deep understanding not only of how Congress and the Administration work, but also how universities, research associations, and businesses operate, and his expertise in management and leadership support that. Working across NSF, the Department of Energy, NASA, the Department of Defense (6.1, 6.2 and DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health, Mark has partnered with faculty and leadership colleagues to develop new relationships within the agencies, achieve support for the major research agencies from Congress and work within the various national associations to support community-wide efforts, including the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Mark holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from Boston College.

To learn more about Mark and The Burnham Group, click here.