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Dr. Lawrence Burnley

Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Dr. Lawrence Burnley brings a host of expertise and experience in diversity, equity and inclusion work. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy in education from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Master's of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary and a bachelor's degree in African American studies with a concentration in history from the University of Cincinnati.

As a diversity expert, Dr. Burnley has developed leadership institutes and has published many works. He is frequently called upon for lectures and speaking engagements, often serving as a panelist or keynote speaker on topics surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the Black experience as it relates to various topics, especially education.

Dr. Burnley has also facilitated many workshops on making excellence inclusive in the classroom, educational implicit bias and exploring culture in education, among others.


He is joining the District from the University of Dayton, where he established the position of Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. There, he developed a comprehensive strategic plan to advance diversity, equity and inclusion goals and objectives for the university. He also created a permanent, campus wide council to advise senior leadership on matters relating to DEI. His work included a campus climate survey; a one-year study to develop a strategy for achieving greater racial, ethnic and gender equity among faculty, staff and administration; and several initiatives to create and increase dialog among administration and the community.

Dr. Burnley has also spent the last seven years consulting individuals and organizations in the areas of team building, strategic planning, outcomes assessment, teaching and workshop facilitation on various topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.


He is a 1974 graduated from Shaker Heights High School and is a member of the Shaker Schools Foundation Board of Trustees.