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In 2017, Sharon Smith became a General Counsel for the
Bend-La Pine School District. For 26 years, she enjoyed a robust practice with
Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, with a focus on real estate, land use, and
development. The school district was one of Sharon’s clients, and she found she
was ready for a move at the same time it made sense for the District to bring
In some ways, Sharon’s current work takes her back to her
roots. She grew up in a family of educators in Eugene, Oregon. Her mother,
Hazel Smith, taught math at Lane Community College, and her father, Norman Smith
was a marketing professor in the University of Oregon College of Business.
Sharon’s deep background in land use and contracting policy
has been a great match for a rapidly growing school district. Since 1991,
Sharon has assisted the Bend La-Pine District in building 17 new schools, renovating
older schools and adjusting to Bend’s growing population, which has almost
quadrupled in the last 30 years. She deeply appreciates that she works with so
many smart and dedicated people who are doing everything they can to create the
best learning environment for our future leaders.
She has also volunteered for many public improvement
efforts. She has served on numerous boards addressing local development issues
as well as non-profit boards helping children and families. She also co-founded
the Safe School Alliance, which formed 20 years ago to improve school safety after
the deadly shooting at Thurston High School.
Sharon has extensive experience in working with
transportation system plans, transportation engineers, and planners. This skill set, along with her extensive work
with both private and public entities brings a valuable perspective to the
Oregon Transportation Commission.
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 over the BLM 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.
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