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avatar for David Burns

David Burns

Battelle STEM Innovation Networks
Executive Director

David Burns is the director of the Battelle STEM Innovation Networks and provides national leadership for issues regarding STEM education.

Burns brings private and public sector knowledge and experience to his position at Battelle. Before entering the education arena, Burns spent 15 years in the hospitality business, developing multi-million dollar restaurant designs and executing a wide variety of business plans. Prior to that, he worked with the Disney Corporation, specifically on the EPCOT (Experimental Community of Tomorrow) project.

Before coming to Battelle in October of 2008, Burns led state policy teams in middle and high school transformation at the Ohio Department of Education, pioneering state policy initiatives such as STEM schools, STEM networks, credit flexibility and stackable certificates. As Chief of Staff for Cincinnati Public Schools, Burns was instrumental in the high school restructuring project, which resulted in a dramatic increase of graduation rates for the state’s third largest urban district. He holds BA degrees in English and education and an MA degree in education/administration.

Since joining Battelle, Burns has focused on the start-up and implementation of ten statewide STEM schools in Ohio, ensuring creativity and innovation in school design and connecting those schools through a network design. This model was recognized as a blueprint for implementing effective STEM education practices and is currently being implemented in Tennessee and North Carolina. Most recently, Burns has lead the Battelle team in the creation and launch of STEMx – a national STEM network dedicated to transforming STEM education and workforce development in the states, by the states. STEMx currently consists of 16 member states and reaches more than 6 million STEM students across the country.