Photo: Olson Kundig
Photo: Olson Kundig

UW College of Arts & Sciences

The Burke Museum is governed by the University of Washington Board of Regents and administered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Executive Director

portrait of gabriela chavarria in the burke museumGabriela Chavarria

Dr. Gabriela Chavarria serves as the Executive Director of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. In this role, Dr. Chavarria carries forward the Burke's mission to care for and share natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal. 

Prior to the Burke, she served as the VP and Chief Curator, Science Division, at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Previously, she was senior science advisor and forensic science branch chief at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Forensics Laboratory. Dr. Chavarria received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and her master’s and Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University.

Growing up in Mexico City, Dr. Chavarria developed a passion for nature and science at an early age, especially for bees. She has devoted her career to the conservation of native pollinators, especially bumble bees. Her recent work as a wood anatomist focused on fighting the illegal trafficking of tropical hardwoods. Dr. Chavarria has conducted research in more than 30 countries throughout the world and sits on numerous boards and advisory councils, including the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Parks Conservation Association, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy of Colorado, and the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Photo: Timothy Kenney/Burke Museum

Executive Staff

  • Judith Austin, Director of Development
  • Peter Lape, Associate Director of Research & Curator of Archaeology
  • Jamie Lee, Director of Human Resources
  • Alvin Logan, Jr., Director of Education
  • Polly Olsen, Director of Diversity, Equity, Access, Inclusion & Decolonization / Tribal Liaison
  • Hally Swift, Director of Finance & Operations


  • Holly Barker, Oceanic & Asian Culture
  • Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, Native American Art
  • Sara Gonzalez, Archaeology
  • Sven Haakanson, Native American Anthropology
  • Peter Lape, Archaeology
  • Adam Leaché, Genetic Resources & Herpetology
  • Alejandro Rico-Guevara, Ornithology
  • Sharlene Santana, Mammalogy
  • Christian Sidor, Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Caroline Strömberg, Paleobotany
  • Luke Tornabene, Ichthyology
  • Greg Wilson Mantilla, Vertebrate Paleontology

Burke Museum Association Officers

elise hebb headshot photo

Elise Hebb
Community Volunteer

hunter jeffers portrait

Hunter Jeffers
Vice President
Community Volunteer

portrait of tiffany clark

Tiffany Clark
Education Consultant

portrait of brian vautour

Brian Vautour
Amazon Web Services

person's portrait

Rebecca Wilson
Past President
Physio Foundation

Fundraising Board

Burke Museum Association

The Burke Museum Association actively supports the museum by raising funds for programming and growth, strengthening ties to our diverse communities and fostering recognition of the Burke as a museum leader.

The BMA is a separate 501(c)(3). For more information about the BMA, email burkeadm@uw.edu.

Burke Museum Association

Brittany Bakken

Kiana Lodge, Suquamish Tribe

Geri Ann Baptista


Mike Bruemmer


Lester Brown

Pine Street Group

Dwane Chappelle

Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning

Tiffany Clark

Education Consultant

Heather Coldwell

Davis Wright Tremaine

Anne Delaney

Columbia Pacific Wealth Management 

Ellen Ferguson

Community Volunteer

Cezanne Garcia

Community Volunteer

Indira Gillingham


Elise Hebb

Community Volunteer

Chris Hurley

University of Washington

Hunter Jeffers

Community Volunteer

Leslie Kincaid-Lawrence

Convoy, Inc.

Janine Ledford

Makah Cultural and Research Center, Makah Tribe

Ellen Look

Community Volunteer

Kristin Luttinen

Community Volunteer

Edgar Marcuse

Community Volunteer

Joe McKinstry

Joseph McKinstry Construction Company

Kisha Xiomara Palmer

The Institute for Inclusive Leadership

Brian Screnar

otaaki, inc.

Kirsten Turner

Community Volunteer

William Urschel

Accord Partners, LLC

Brian Vautour

Amazon Web Services

Rebecca Wilson

Physio Foundation

Erin Younger

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage


State of Washington

The Hon. Jay R. Inslee
Governor, State of Washington

University of Washington

Ana Mari Cauce
President, University of Washington

Blaine Tamaki
Chair, Board of Regents, University of Washington

Dianne Harris
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Washington

Burke Museum Association Advisory Council

Greg Blume

George W. Counts

Jan Creighton

Mary Dunnam

Sheila Edwards Lange

Leonard Forsman

Alicechandra Fritz

Mike Garvey

Marie Halverson

Sydnie Heberling

John Howell

Ron Irving

Eleanor Nolan

Darcy Paschino

John Pohl

John Price

Brent Reys

Jennifer Schubert

Spencer G. Smith

Susie Stoller

David Towne

Steve Whiston

Melissa Yeager

Advisory Board

Native American Advisory Board

The Native American Advisory Board provides essential advice and direction as to the Burke Museum’s efforts in a number of important areas including, but not limited to, exhibits, collections, community outreach, repatriation, education, research, and collaborative relations with tribal and museum programs. Its membership focuses on Native American colleagues in the Northwest who are museum specialists, natural resource specialists, artists, experienced traditional knowledge keepers, or cultural heritage specialists.

The NAAB is led by an Executive Committee who are elected by Tribal governments to guide the board. For more information,
contact Polly Olsen (Yakama), Tribal Liaison, at polly@uw.edu.

Executive Committee

warren kinggeorge

Warren KingGeorge


portrait of connie mcloud

Connie McCloud


portrait of a woman

Marilyn Wandry


portrait of josephine jefferson

Josephine Jefferson

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

portrait of a man

Yellowash Washines


Native American Advisory Board

lisaaksiichaa Ross Braine

Apsaalooke Nation

Jacqueline Cook


Rodney & Colleen Cawston


Arlene Wheeler

Lower Elwha Klallam

Lena Tso

Lummi Nation

Janine Ledford


Warren KingGeorge


Annette "Nettsie" Bullchild

Nisqually Indian Tribe

Dr. Charlotte Coté


Brandon Reynon

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

Charlotte Basch

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

Connie McCloud

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

Jan Flagg

Samish Nation

Josephine Jefferson

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Charlene Krise

Squaxin Island Tribe

Marilyn Jones


Marilyn Wandry


Cecilia Gobin


Bobbie Conner


Teara Farrow Ferman


Adam Osbekoff

Unangan (Aleut) (Employed at Snoqualmie Indian Tribe)

Davis "Yellowash" Washines

Yakama Nation

Patricia Whitefoot

Yakama Nation

Dr. Miranda Belarde-Lewis


a student and professor look at art together

Our Work

At the Burke, we bring together people, objects and the stories that make them meaningful.

Photo: Mark Stone/University of Washington
Photo: Mark Stone/University of Washington