John W. Burke, J.D.

Mr. Burke is a former Naval Officer, captaining a Swiftboat in Viet Nam as well as serving on a destroyer in the Western Pacific and at the U.S. Naval Officers’ Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, as a company officer. He has had more than 25 years of experience with the Department of Interior's Solicitor’s Office, holding a variety of positions which have included the Regional Solicitor for the Pacific Southwest Region in Sacramento, California, and Chief Counsel for the National Park Service’s Presidio Project in San Francisco. He also served as General Counsel/Executive Director of Marine World, a 160-acre wildlife park in Vallejo, California.

He has distinguished himself as an outstanding facilitator of partnering agreements between business and government with a track record of success. He has managed the partnering process for large-scale partnering agreements. He has facilitated and negotiated environmental and land use projects among members of congress, federal departments and bureaus, senior officials in the California governor's US office and departments and senior-level business and industry leaders. He was appointed by the Governor of California to the Sierra Summit Task Force whose mission was to open a dialogue between senior government officials and business and industry leaders in order to achieve a healthy, sustainable environment in Sierra Nevada while also supporting the goals of the participating representatives of the recreational, timber, and mining industries, as well as water purveyors and manufacturing. Mr. Burke has extensive experience supervising legal projects. As the Regional Solicitor for the Pacific Southwest Region, he coordinated and oversaw the legal activities of the Department of Interior for California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and the Trust Territories. Mr. Burke has drafted legislation adopted by Congress providing positive outcomes for stakeholders in the environment. He was a litigator who negotiated effective resolutions for conflicts on behalf of the Department of the Interior for 15 years. In this capacity, he has appeared in court and negotiated small disputes to those involving hundreds of millions of dollars affecting major segments of natural resources in the Pacific Northwest and California. As Chief Counsel for the Presidio Project, he was responsible for the legal activities pertaining to the transfer of the Presidio from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army to the National Park Service and thereafter to the Presidio Trust.

Mr Burke is a graduate of Princeton University and George Washington University Law School. He is a member of the California and District of Columbia Bar Associations, as well as the Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District Courts for Northern California and the District of Columbia.

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