Ursula M. Burns serves on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees and is chairman and CEO of VEON. 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 board chair from 2010 to 2017. In March 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her vice chair of the President’s Export Council. She is vice chair of the Business Roundtable, and is on the boards of the American Express Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Uber Technologies, Catalyst, the Mayo Clinic, Nestlé SA, and New York City Ballet. 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 Corporation, 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), and she previously served as board 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.