Biography

Mark Burstein, Lawrence University’s 16th president, has focused on creating learning communities in which all members can reach their full potential during his more than twenty years in higher education.  Burstein’s vision for Lawrence builds on the unique intellectual strengths of the university, ensures the affordability of a rigorous liberal arts and sciences education, and provides social and academic support for students of all backgrounds.

He came to Lawrence from Princeton University (2004-2013) where, as Executive Vice President, he led efforts to enhance campus life and modernize operations and infrastructure.  While there, he taught in the Freshman Seminar Program.  He also created an award-winning campus master plan, wrote a sustainability plan which integrated teaching and research with administrative initiatives, and launched, with the Dean of the College, a four-year residential college system.

At Columbia (1994-2004) he held several senior positions.  As Vice President for Facilities Management he developed the plan and acquired over $250 million of real estate for the new campus now under construction:  Manhattanville in West Harlem.  He also oversaw the expansion of the university’s Morningside campus with over $1 billion in new construction.  Earlier, as Columbia’s first Vice President of Student Services, he managed the registrar’s office, financial, health, housing, and retail services for the benefit of 20,000 students. 

Before Columbia he helped launch New York City’s recycling program as Director of Economic Development for the Department of Sanitation (1993-1994) including co-founding a commodities exchange for recyclables at the Chicago Board of Trade.  Before taking up government work, he was an associate in the Public Finance Division of Bear Stearns and a consultant at the Center for Applied Research in the firm’s strategy and organizational development practices.

Burstein earned his Masters in Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was awarded a Morgenthau Fellowship, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Independent Studies with departmental honors from Vassar College.  He holds an honorary Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Fox Valley.

He currently serves on the Vassar College Board of Trustees and on the board of ThedaCare, a community health organization serving more than 235,000 individual patients a year through a network of seven hospitals and numerous clinics in northeastern Wisconsin.  He served on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Applied Sciences Advisory Board, and he was Chair of the Board of Directors of The Victory Fund: a national political action committee based in Washington, DC.

Burstein is married to David Calle, a former Unilever executive, who is an entrepreneur based in Appleton, Wisconsin.