James C. Burroughs II: Father of the Village Award

Published in Male Face

jamesburroughs2James C. Burroughs II serves as Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota under Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith. In this role, Burroughs leads the State of Minnesota’s effort to increase the percentage of state jobs held by people of color, provides training, fosters a state work environment that welcomes and respects all Minnesotans, and works with outside groups to ensure that Minnesota is a state that works for everyone, everywhere.

Before joining the Governor’s Office, Burroughs served as the Executive Director for Equity and Diversity for Minneapolis Public Schools. In that role, he monitored and implemented the district’s integration plan, developed diversity and workplace inclusion training, and lead efforts to help the school district reach its goals for diversity and equity.

Burroughs also has spent the past seven years as a human resources consultant with Golden Valley-based CommonSense Consulting@Work. At CommonSense, Burroughs provided human resources management and diversity counseling advice to businesses. He also helped businesses develop and implement workplace diversity and inclusion training.

Prior to joining Minneapolis Public Schools and CommonSense Consulting@Work, Burroughs worked for Minneapolis-based ProGroup and Fredrikson Human Resources Consulting. In these roles, Burroughs provided diversity training, education, and consulting services to Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies around the world.

In addition to serving as a diversity consultant, Burroughs has extensive non-profit leadership. Between 1998 and 2003, he was the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Summit Academy, a non-profit that provides vocational training and job placement to low-income adults. In this role, he oversaw a multi-million budget and the education of 800 student-clients each year.

Burroughs also has a wide-range of legal experience. He was a civil and commercial litigator for Dorsey & Whitney and also worked with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Minnesota. Burroughs also clerked for the Honorable Franklin L. Noel also in the District of Minnesota. In addition to practicing law, Burroughs taught as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota Law School and Hamline University School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law).

Burroughs serves a board member for the Sabathani Community Center, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Memorial Blood Centers, and Robert Jones Urban Research and Outreach- Engagement Center. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and Georgetown University Law Center. A Detroit, Michigan native, Burroughs currently resides in Brooklyn Park with his three-year-old daughter.