Deputy education commissioner appointed as Minnesota’s chief equity officer

A state education official has been appointed to be Minnesota’s first chief equity officer.

Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced that Dr. Stephanie Burrage will work with governor’s office and cabinet to create a new office focused on collaborating to achieve equity and opportunity across the state.

“This role was created to serve communities across Minnesota and help eliminate disparities across race, geography, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status,” Walz said in a statement. “Dr. Burrage understands the importance of community and relationship building and will use her strengths and expertise to advance equity in communities across Minnesota.”

​Burrage, the deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education and a senior advisor to the governor’s office, said she’s ready to take on her new position.

“This work is critical and will help remove systemic inequities while increasing opportunities for all communities,” Burrage said. “I will help ensure that Minnesotans are both heard and represented in our government. I am pleased that Governor Tim Walz has appointed me to this essential role.”

Burrage earned her educational policy and administration doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Before joining the Department of Education, she was an interim superintendent and assistant superintendent for Robbinsdale Area Schools. She also held superintendent and assistant superintendent roles in Michigan and previously worked as a teacher and principal for Minneapolis Public Schools.

In the education department, Burrage oversees the human resources and agency services division, the government relations division and the new equity, diversity and inclusion center.