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Hon. Yvonne B. Burke
Former Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

California’s first African-American congresswoman and a longtime L.A. County Supervisor, Yvonne Burke has a storied, five-decade career as a lawyer and public servant whose accomplishments have been recognized on a national level. She is well-known for her leadership skills and gained a reputation as a good listener who brought an attorney’s perspective to her role as a supervisor. As a three-time chair of the Board of Supervisors, she was responsible for the review and settlement of a wide range of litigation. As chair of Metro, she was involved in labor negotiations and settlement of the transit strike. Ms. Burke was also a partner in the national law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue (now Jones, Day) from 1987-93, where she specialized in public finance and public/private partnerships for facility development.

  VIew/Download printable PDF file of this resume  


State and local regulations, business/commercial, probate,
environmental, employment, medical malpractice, real estate,
eminent domain/land use.


Yvonne B. Burke recently retired after serving four terms as a Los Angeles County Supervisor in the Second District (1992-2008) and the Fourth District (1979-80). Among her myriad achievements as a supervisor, Ms. Burke has been a leader on issues involving children and families, economic development, employment, transportation and the environment.

A civil rights pioneer who received her law degree when many firms refused to hire women or minorities, Ms. Burke opened her own law office and specialized in housing, immigration and eminent domain issues. She served as a Deputy Corporations Commissioner and later as a Hearing Officer for the Los Angeles Police Commission. Her work as a staff attorney on the McCone Commission investigating the 1965 Watts Riots led to her first position in public office as a California State Assemblywoman (1966-72).

Ms. Burke went on to become the first African-American woman
elected to the U.S. Congress from California, representing the 37th District from 1972-78 and serving as the first female president of the Congressional Black Caucus. She was also the first African-American elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Since the beginning of her career, Ms. Burke has been honored
with countless awards and has chaired or been a board member of numerous prestigious organizations and corporations.



2008 Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer, Los Angeles County Bar

Stalhutt Award, Los Angeles County Women Lawyers

USC Outstanding Alumni, honored for service in 2008

Metropolitan News-Enterprise “Person of the Year,” 2003 UCLA Alumni of the Year, 1996

UCLA Alumni of the Year, 1996

Current member and past president, Southern California Association of Governments

Member, Nestlé US Advisory Board, 1985-93

Member, University of California Board of Regents, 1978-79, 1981-93

Board Member, Ford Foundation, 1987-93

Former Chair, L.A. County Children’s Planning Council

Vice-chair, 1984 U.S. Olympics Organizing Committee

Member, 1973 House Select Committee on Assassinations


Fellowship, Harvard Kennedy School of Politics, 1972

J.D., University of Southern California School of Law, 1956

B.A., UCLA, 1953

Ms. Burke is available throughout California.

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