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Sylvia Burns joined the federal government as a Presidential Management Intern in 1994 after completing her Master’s Degree in Business Management and Policy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her public service began at the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she held several positions over 12 years. She served as the first Chief Architect at the International Trade Administration, where she led several high-priority technology projects. These included the selection of a worldwide Customer Relationship Management solution to manage the organization’s export promotion activities and the deployment of a secure remote network access system.

In 2006, Ms. Burns joined the Department of the Interior (DOI) where she served as the Director of Information Planning in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs OCIO. She was in charge of managing the organization’s Enterprise Architecture, Capital Planning and Investment Control activities, information technology (IT) budget and acquisitions, as well as IT policy. She played a pivotal role in the Indian Affairs reconnection to the Internet in 2008 after the organization was required to disconnect by court order in 2001.

In August 2009, Ms. Burns officially assumed the position as the Division Chief for Portfolio Management within Interior’s Departmental Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). As the Division Chief, Ms. Burns was responsible for the management and oversight of the Department’s approximately $1 billion information technology (IT) investment portfolio and Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) activities. She was the team leader for the DOI Innovations and Efficiencies Team (DIET) that triggered a grassroots effort to improve the operational efficiency of the Department’s highly fragmented IT infrastructure. This contributed significantly to the Department’s decision to centralize all IT under the Department’s CIO in December 2010. Ms. Burns was appointed acting CIO in March 2014, and subsequently became the permanent CIO in August 2014.

In October 2010, Ms. Burns was certified by the Office of Personnel Management for appointment to the Senior Executive Service following her completion of Interior’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. In 2006, Ms. Burns graduated from the Council in Excellence in Government’s eGov Fellowship program and has been a senior fellow since that time. Her experience includes private sector research and data analysis consulting, as well as work in international trade.