DeAngela Burns-Wallace is the new CEO and president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. With more than $2.5 billion in assets, the Kauffman Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. Ewing Marion Kauffman was the founder of the pharmaceutical firm Marion Laboratories. In the late 1960s, he was granted an expansion franchise by Major League Baseball for $7 million to establish the Kansas City Royals. The team is now estimated to be worth $1.2 billion.
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 – regardless of race, gender, or geography. Higher education is a major focus.
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 then spent 15 years in higher education, serving at the University of Kansas as vice provost for undergraduate education, the University of Missouri as assistant vice provost of undergraduate education and assistant vice provost for enrollment management, and at Stanford University as an assistant dean of undergraduate admissions. Most recently, Dr. Burns-Wallace was the secretary of administration and the chief information technology officer for the State of Kansas.
“Growing up in Kansas City, the Kauffman family and the Foundation have always been an integral and everyday part of our community. I grew up seeing Mr. Kauffman in our community and knowing the impact and engagement of the Kauffman Foundation throughout the city. Over the years as a professional engaging with the Foundation in various ways, I have developed an even greater appreciation of the deeply held values, rich legacy, and the community commitment that drive the mission of the Foundation to this day,” said Dr. Burns-Wallace. “I believe our communities are a source of strength, opportunity, and inspiration. The Foundation’s many tools can foster innovative approaches that create sustainable, systemic change. But that change must be done in partnership – with those we serve, those with whom we collaborate, and those who lead with us. 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 is a graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in international relations and African American studies. She holds a master’s degree in public policy and international affairs from Princeton University and an educational doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.