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Prior to being appointed to the United States Senate, Roland W. Burris has been elected four times to statewide office in Illinois - three terms as Comptroller (1979-1991) and one term as Attorney General (1991-1995); and served as the administrative officer in the Governor's Cabinet in charge of Central Management Services for the State of Illinois (1973-1977).
Senator Burris also has an extensive background in the business and financial sectors, serving as the National Bank Examiner for the Comptroller of the Currency U.S. Treasury Department (1963-1964) and Vice President of the second largest bank in Illinois - the Continental Illinois National Bank where he worked both in the Trust Tax Department and Commercial Lending (1964-1973). Immediately before coming to the Senate, he served as Chairman/CEO of Burris & Lebed Consulting, LLC, a strategic consulting service concentrating in the areas of public relations, governmental representation, political strategies, and corporate strategies. He is also very knowledgeable in community affairs having served as the National Executive Director and Chief Operating Office for Operation Push from 1977 to 1978.
While serving as State Comptroller Roland Burris produced the first financial statement for the State of Illinois in accordance to GAAP in 1984. He served as President of the National Association of Comptroller, as well as, President of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Government Accounting Standards Board, which became a part of the Financial Accounting Foundation. From 1991 to 1994 he served as a Trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation Board. He also led the effort before the US Congress to create a Comptroller for the U.S. Government, which became the number 4 spot in the Office of Management and Budget. He served three years on the Executive Board as a Trustee of the Government Finance Office Association of the United States and Canada. He was elected as the first non- CPA to the Board of Directors of an Illinois CPA Society from 2000-2002. In 1986 he was selected as one of the three outstanding Financial Officers in the United States by Crane Chicago Small Business Magazine.
Throughout his career he served on the following boards, the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority Board, the Law Enforcement Foundation of Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court Committee for Civil Jury Instructions, Chair of the Illinois State Justice Commission, and served on the Chicago Area Boy Scouts of America's Board. His citations include Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Government, Who's Who in Law, and was recognized annually from 1979 to 1995 by Ebony Magazine as one of "The 100 Most Influential Black Americans."
Mr. Burris was born and raised in Centralia, Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He was an exchange student on scholarship to study International Law at the University of Hamburg in Germany. He earned his Juris Doctorate Degree (JD) from Howard University School of Law.
He is married to the Dr. Berlean M. Burris, PhD and is the father of two adult children, Dr. Rolanda S. Burris, EdD and Roland W. Burris II, Esq.
Alphabetical Listing of Senators