The Hudson River Valley Greenway is pleased to announce that Dr. Kevin M. Burke has been appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as Chairman of the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley. As a Harvard-trained historian and lawyer, Dr. Burke has been incredibly valued for his impeccable insight and determination since joining the Greenway board in 2010.
“I thank Governor Cuomo for the honor of this appointment. My family’s roots run deep in the Hudson Valley, and, at this dynamic time in the life of our region and state, I’m thrilled to accept this challenge,” Burke said in a statement.“Since its founding, the Greenway has been a friend to communities up and down the Valley and a model for the nation of a public-private partnership that works for the benefit of the people, the environment, and the history we share. As Chairman, I look forward to working with the Conservancy Board, Chairman McHenry of the Communities Council, the Greenway staff, and our many partners to ensure that our beloved River and the breathtaking trails coursing on – and alongside – it remain sources of wonder and inspiration for generations to come.”
Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council Chairman Barnabas McHenry said, “On behalf of the Greenway Council, I welcome Kevin Burke as the Chair of the Greenway Conservancy and look forward to continuing our joint efforts to protect the Hudson River and Highlands. Kevin is the perfect person for this task.”
Kevin M. Burke is a writer, scholar, editor,and documentary film development and story producer, as well as the director of research at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard College in 1998 and from Harvard Law School in 2003. He received his master’s degree in History and Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard in 2004 and 2006, respectively.With Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Dr. Burke is co-author of the book And Still I Rise: Black America since MLK (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2015), and co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, Twelve Years a Slave (W. W. Norton & Co., 2016). Dr. Burke’s film credits include working as a senior historical adviser on the Emmy Award-nominated Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise (PBS,2016) and Africa’s Great Civilizations(PBS, 2017). He also is the senior story producer on the popular genealogy series, Finding Your Roots (PBS). A native of the Hudson River Valley, Dr. Burke is a member of the New York State Bar, and serves as president of the Downing Film Center in Newburgh, New York.In addition to his being Chairman of the Greenway Conservancy of the Hudson River Valley, Mr. Burke is also Chairman of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park Foundation, Inc. He and his wife Anna Barranca-Burke live with their son Edward in New York.
Appointed by the Greenway Council in 2010, Kevin Burke has been a dedicated member of the Greenway Conservancy Board. He has made it his priority to continue to help with the establishment of a trail network in the Hudson Valley, preserve agriculture, strengthen the cooperation between the state and local governments, and to promote the Hudson River Valley as a single tourism destination. In 2015, Dr. Burke was elected Treasurer of the Conservancy Board.In 2016, he was elected Vice Chairman of the Conservancy, also serving at that time as the Acting Chairman.
The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a unique state-sponsored program established by the Greenway Act of 1991. More than 84% of municipalities within the Greenway area have designated themselves as “Greenway Communities.” The program is designed to encourage projects and initiatives related to the intersecting goals of natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public access, and heritage and environmental education. It provides technical assistance and catalytic grant funding for planning, water and land trails, and other projects that reinforce these goals. In keeping with the New York tradition of home rule, the Greenway program has no regulatory authority and participation by municipalities in Greenway programs and projects is entirely voluntary. The Greenway also manages the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service and is responsible for the development of the Empire State Trail.