Ursula M. Burns serves on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees. She began her career at Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineer intern, and through the years assumed many positions that led her to become the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company.
Burns was CEO of Xerox from 2009 to 2016, and served as chairman of the board from 2010 to 2017. In March 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her as vice chair of the President’s Export Council. She is a board director at the American Express Company and Exxon Mobil Corporation. She also provides leadership counsel to community, educational, and nonprofit organizations, including FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the National Academy Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the US Olympic Committee. She is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the US education system in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); vice chair of the Business Roundtable; chair of VEON Ltd.; and chair of the Technology CEO Council.
Burns earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University.