COVID-19 information
Success

Irene Burnton

ASU School of Social Work
UCENT #850
411 N. Central Ave
Phoenix
Professor of Practice
Faculty w/Admin Appointment
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920
Professor of Practice
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920
Professor of Practice
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920

Biography

Irene (Jacobs) Burnton is a Professor of Practice with the School of Social Work in the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions. Professor Burnton has a passion for macro social work and teaches courses pertaining to social policy, administration, and community practice.  Her teaching is embedded in a strength-based approach with graduate and undergraduate students at the Downtown, West, and online campuses. (Strong Threads)  She has been with ASU since 2016.  Until 2018 she served as the School of Social Work's Associate Director of administration and operations and briefly as co-interim director. 

Her background includes more than three decades working in Arizona government, nonprofit, hospital and social justice organizations on administration, public policies and human service issues pertaining to children, youth and families. 

Most notably, she was a Senior Policy Advisor to former Governor Janet Napolitano where she managed the Office of Children, Youth and Families (now the Office of Faith and Families) and the State Board on School Readiness (which transitioned to First Things First). Governor Napolitano was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security by President Obama and then transitioned to become President of the University of California. 

Burnton was the first compensated CEO for O’Connor House begun by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. She worked on issues pertaining to domestic violence and human trafficking and served as the organization's administrator.  

Prior to coming to ASU, Burnton was the director of the Office of Children’s Health at the Arizona Department of Health Services where she managed a multi-million grant for early childhood home visiting. 

Burnton received her Master’s of Social Work degree ASU in Policy, Administration and Community Practice (PAC).

Education

M.S.W. Policy, Administration and Community Practice (PAC), Arizona State University

Courses

Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 411Social Work Practice III
SWU 432Social Policy and Services
SWG 632Policy Practice
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 432Social Policy and Services
SWG 681Social Work Administration
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 411Social Work Practice III
SWG 632Policy Practice
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 411Social Work Practice III
SWU 432Social Policy and Services
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 411Social Work Practice III
SWG 632Policy Practice
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 432Social Policy and Services
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 411Social Work Practice III
SWU 432Social Policy and Services
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 432Social Policy and Services
SWG 531Social Policy and Services
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 632Policy Practice

Presentations

  • Arizona State University School of Social Work.  Role of the social work field instructor.  Panel discussion Phoenix, Arizona, June 2016.
  • Gurian Institute. Helping Boys Thrive, Strategies for Engaging Boys. Opening remarks.  Phoenix, Arizona, December 2015.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services.  Strong Families Arizona Home Visiting Conference. EmceeGlendale, Arizona, 2016, 2015, and 2014.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services. High Risk Perinatal Program/Newborn Intensive Care Program Together We Thrive Conference.  Emcee.  Tempe, Arizona, August 2015.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services.  Understanding MIECHV for Home Visiting Coordinators.  Guest Speaker.  Phoenix, Arizona, January 2015.
  • Alliance of Arizona Nonprofit Organizations.  Organizing collective action. Panel discussion. Tempe, Arizona, September 2014.
  • Arizona Department of Child Safety.  Home Visiting Can Help Mothers Who Abuse Substances.  Workshop. Arizona Substance Abuse Conference. Phoenix, Arizona, September 2014.
  • Prevent Child Abuse Arizona.  Arizonas Collaborative Approach to Home Visiting. Panel.  Child Abuse Prevention Conference.  Phoenix, Arizona, July 2014.
  • Gila County Health Department.  Points of Life. Keynote Address. Home Visiting Conference. San Carlos, Arizona, July 2014.
  • Arizona State University School of Social Work.  Macro Social Work and the Impact of Mentors. Guest Speaker. Social Policy Class.  Phoenix, Arizona, April 2014 and February 2014.
  • National Governors Association and Arizona Department of Health Services.  Improving Arizona Births Outcomes Summit. Emcee.  Phoenix, Arizona, January 2014.
  • Arizona State University School of Social WorkEvaluation & Assessment, A Real World Story, Arizonas Home Visiting System.  Guest Speaker.  Social Policy class.  Phoenix, Arizona, October 2013.
  • Arizona Perinatal Trust.  Status of Maternal and Child Health. Plenary presentation.  Flagstaff, Arizona, August, 21, 2013.
  • Presented Arizona Home Visiting Programs and the Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, MIECHV to: BUILD Steering Committee. Phoenix, Arizona, September 2013; First Things First. Early Childhood SummitPhoenix, Arizona, Aug 2013; Hopi Tribe. Kykotsmovi, Arizona. May 2013.
  • Arizona State University College of Law. Integration of courts, child welfare and domestic violence.  Moderator. Tempe, Arizona.  2010.
  • North Carolina State Legislature. The Impact of Childrens Cabinets.  Panel presentation with former New Mexico Lt Governor Diane Denish. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 2008.
  • Kellogg Foundation.  School Readiness Indicators and P-3 Initiative.  Phoenix, Arizona, May 30, 2008.
  • Governors Office.  Arizona Justice Project.  Speaker. Foundation Roundtable. Phoenix, Arizona, Oct 2008.
  • Alliance of Arizona Nonprofit Organizations.  Publicly Funded Grant Making. Panel. Phoenix, Arizona. 2007.
  • Kellogg Foundation and the Education Commission of the States. Creating Linkages Between the K-3 and Early Care and Education Systems Forum.  Opening Remarks.  Phoenix, Arizona. January 2007.
  • Pima Prevention Partnership and the Governors Office of Children, Youth and Families.  Children of Incarcerated Parents Conference.  Opening Remarks. Phoenix, Arizona, October 2007.
  • National Association of Social Workers.  National Association of Social Workers Day at the Legislature.  Keynote speaker.  Phoenix, Arizona, 2006.
  • Mott Foundation.  Afterschool program excellence.  Plenary speaker.  Tucson, Arizona, January 2006.
  • Presented School Readiness and the Role of Partnerships to: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Program. Casa Grande, Arizona, December 2005; American Association of University Women. Glendale, Arizona, November 2005; Mesa United Way; Mesa, Arizona, October 2005; Valley Citizens League. Phoenix, Arizona, March 2005; West Valley Leadership. Glendale, Arizona, January 2005; National Head Start Association, Regional Meeting.  Tempe, Arizona, October 2004.
  • Southwest Human Development. Chase Emergent Leaders. Keynote Speaker. Phoenix, Arizona, Sept 2005.
  • National United Way.  Quality Rating Systems. Panel presentation .Washington, DC, February 2005.
  • Stepping Stone Preschool Program.  Celebration and presentation of scholarships to former preschool students who graduated from High School.  Keynote Address.  Phoenix, Arizona, November 2004.
  • National Forum on Education Policy and the Education Commission on the States.  Standards, Assessments & School Readiness.  Orlando Florida, July 2004.
  • Prevent Child Abuse America.  Healthy Families Policy and Funding. Healthy Families National Conference.  Washington, DC, 1992.
  • Families USA.  Childrens Health Insurance.  Health Action Conference.  Washington, DC, 1992.
  • Presented Child Advocacy and Early Brain Development to: Lutheran Churches Western Regional Conference.  Las Vegas, Nevada, 1992; National Library of Congress.  Washington, DC, 1991.
  • Center Against Sexual Assault.  Developed and presented curriculum on sexual assault and child sexual abuse prevention.  Presentations for students, and civic groups throughout Arizona.  1978-80

Honors/Awards

  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Rochester Institute of Technology.  
  • National Governors Association/Zero to Three Early Childhood Policy Leadership Fellow, Washington DC.
  • Family Advocate.  Arizona Department of Economic Security.
  • Full academic scholarship. ASU School of Social Work.
  • Outstanding Student Award (highest GPA), Rochester Institute of Technology.

Editorships

Civic & Community Engagement Forum: Catalyst for Change in Early Learning & Education.  W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 2010.

Strategic Plan to Improve Outcomes for Children of Incarcerated Parents through Early Intervention. Project Launch.  Funded through federal SAMSHA grant. University of Arizona.  2010.

Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim: A Practical Guide for First Timers.  Published in Backpacking Magazine.  Translated into German for distribution in Germany.  Blog for 5 years.  2006.

I Am Ready to Succeed: Arizonas School Readiness Action Plan.  (with Lisa Glow). Office of Governor Janet Napolitano. 2004.

Childrens Hospital Advocacy Program.  Phoenix Childrens Hospital. 2000.

Ocotillo Neighborhood Coalition Evaluation and Ocotillo Neighborhood Assessment Zip Code 85301. (with Claire Metelits)  Save the Children. 1999.

Steps to Success: A Guide to Choosing an On-Site Child Care Provider.  Summa & Associates.  1999

Healthy Families: A Summary of Child Abuse Prevention Research.  Prevent Child Abuse Arizona.  1998.

A Platform for Arizonas Children.  (with Carol Kamin) Childrens Action Alliance.  1991.

Elected Officials Attitudes Toward Womens Issues:Equal Rights Amendment, Childcare and Sexual Assault. (with Barb Fitzgerald and Bonnie Hartley) Masters Degree Dissertation.  Paul Wong, PhD Research Instructor, Rick DeGraw, Faculty Advisor.  1981.

Editor/Reviewer

  • Arizona MIECHV System Evaluation (in process).  Author: Linda Manning, PhD, Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University, target date: August 2016.
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis of Early Childhood Home Visitation Programs in Arizona.  Author: Anthony Evans, PhD, L.W. Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, 2015.
  • Arizona Results for Children and Youth.  Author: Eva Lester.  Office of Governor Janet Napolitano
  • A Plan for Action: Addressing the Methamphetamine Crisis in Arizona.  Author: Kim OConnor, PhD.  Office of Governor Janet Napolitano
  • Five Keys to Youth Success: Unlocking the Door to Arizonas Future.  Authors: Melissa Lempke and Tammy Paz-Combs.  Office of Governor Janet Napolitano.
  • Compensation & Credentials.  Authors: Donna Migliore and Dana Naimark.  Office of Governor Janet Napolitano
  • Safe, Healthy & Ready to Succeed: Arizona School Readiness Key Performance Indicators.  Author: Donna Migliore.  Office of Governor Janet Napolitano. 
  • Quiet Crisis: Early Care & Education. Author: Paulette Poulman.  Childrens Action Alliance.  1994.
  • Nowhere To Go: A Report on Runaway & Homeless Youth in Arizona.  Author: Jane Irvine.  Childrens Action Alliance. 1991.
  • Arizona KidsCount.  Author: Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Childrens Action Alliance. 1989.
  • A Public Impact Campaign.  Authors: Bob Grossfeld and Rick DeGraw.  Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona. 1988.

Professional Associations

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • AZ Center for Afterschool Excellence, Board of Directors, Immediate Past Chair, 2015-2020
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Associate Deans & Directors Committee, 2017-2018
  • Student Scholarship Award Committee, ASU, School of Social Work, 2017-2018
  • First Things First Family Support Committee, Chair, 2016 to 2018.
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) China Collaboration, Beijing, China, 2017-2018
  • Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, Chair, Executive Director Search Committee 2015-16
  • Community Advisory Committee, ASU School of Social Work, 2015 to 2018
  • Field Instructor, ASU School of Social Work, 1982 to present
  • National Association of State and Tribal Home Visiting Initiatives (ASTHVI), 2014 to 2016
  • Arizona Early Childhood Alliance, Leadership Team, ADHS Representative, 2013-2016
  • United Healthcare Childrens Foundation, Board of Directors, 2006 to 2013
  • Educare of Arizona, Board of Directors, 2008 to 2011
  • Clothes Helping Kids Foundation, Save the Children, Board of Directors, 2000 to 2010
  • Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Board of Directors, 2008 to 2009
  • Arizona Early Education Funds, Arizona Community Foundation, Board, 2006 to 2009
  • Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership; Governors representative, 2007 to 2009
  • Interagency Council on Homelessness, Governors representative 2006 to 2009
  • National Governors Association/Zero to Three Early Childhood Policy Leadership Forum, 2003-07.
  • Arizona Early Intervention Program, Interagency Council, Governors representative, 2004-2007
  • Healthy Families State Steering Committee, 1994 to 1997
  • Child Care Advisory Committee, Arizona Department of Economic Security, 1993 to 1997
  • Arizona Family Planning Council, President, Board of Directors, 1993-1998
  • Valley Leadership, Class X, 1991
  • Phoenix Womens Commission, Chair, Appointed by Mayor, 1985 -1986

 

Service

Non-Tenure Track Personnel Committee, School of Social Work, 2019-present

Faculty Senate, School of Social Work, 2017 to 2020

Faculty Senate, Arizona State University, Committee on Committees, 2018 –2020

Policy, Administration and Community Policy (PAC) Committee, School of Social Work, 2017-present

Chair, Family Support Strategic Planning Committee, First Things First, 2016-2018

Consulting

W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan: Provided consultation on philanthropic priorities for early education and literacy for New Mexico.  Created recommendations for Kellogg Foundation’s early education philanthropic funding using input from 450 participants in a statewide summit.

University of Arizona, Cooperative Extension, Phoenix, Arizona: Evaluated Project Launch, a community-based early intervention program. Completed environmental scan. Led community engagement. Wrote and tracked accomplishments and report to funder (SAMSHA).

First Things First, Phoenix, Arizona:  With senior management, developed school readiness outcome measures to determine the impact of early childhood health and development programs.

Arizona Meth Project, Phoenix, Arizona: Raised philanthropic funds for high impact media campaign designed to prevent youth from using meth.

Save the Children, Westport, Connecticut:  Facilitated “Web of Support,” a nationally devised youth development program with three partner agencies: the Glendale Community Center, Latino Peace Officers Association, and Mothers Against Gangs.  Completed community assessment and reports.

Summa & Associates, Tempe, Arizona: Researched and wrote Guidelines for On-site Child Care that outlined step-by-step methods for Motorola to contract for an on-site child care program for their employees.

Prevent Child Abuse, Prescott, Arizona: Wrote easy-to-understand handout on child abuse prevention.  Facilitated panel of policymakers and national expert on the efficacy of child abuse prevention programs.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona: Researched/wrote recommendations on ways to implement an advocacy program at PCH utilizing opinion survey, assessment of issues, and other state’s models.  

Board

  • Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, President, Board of Directors, 2014 to 2020
  • Arizona Early Childhood Alliance, Leadership Team, ADHS Representative, 2013-2016
  • United Healthcare Children’s Foundation, Board of Directors, 2006 to 2013
  • Educare of Arizona, Board of Directors, 2008 to 2011
  • Clothes Helping Kids Foundation, Save the Children, Board of Directors, 2000 to 2010
  • Arizona Grantmaker’s Forum, Board of Directors, 2008 to 2009
  • Arizona Early Education Funds Board, Arizona Community Foundation, 2006 to 2009
  • Healthy Families State Steering Committee, 1994 to 1997
  • Child Care Advisory Committee, Arizona Department of Economic Security, 1993 to 1997
  • Arizona Family Planning Council, President, Board of Directors, 1993-1998
  • Phoenix Women’s Commission, Chair, Appointed by Mayor, 1985 -1986

Industry Positions

Professor of Practice

  • School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ.
  • October 2016 to present

Chief, Office of Children’s Health

  • Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, AZ.
  • September 2012-October 2016

President and CEO

  • O’Connor House, Tempe, AZ
  • June 2011-August 2012

Director, Women & Justice Project

  • O’Connor House, Tempe, AZ
  • June 2010-June 2011

Senior Policy Advisor and Executive Director

  • Governor’s Office of Children, Youth & Families (GOCYF), Phoenix, AZ
  • March 2006-February 2009

Director, State Board on School Readiness

  • Governor’s Office of Children, Youth & Families, Phoenix, Arizona
  • January 2003-March 2006

Director, Emily Anderson Family Learning Center

  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), Phoenix, Arizona
  • September 1997-January 2003

Senior Policy Analyst

  • Children’s Action Alliance, Phoenix, Arizona
  • February 1990 to September 1997

Associate Executive Director

  • YWCA of Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona
  • August 1986-August. 1987

Director of Public Affairs and Marketing

  • Planned Parenthood, Phoenix, Arizona
  • September 1982-August 1986 and September 1987-January 1990

Public Policy Specialist

  • Alturas, Inc., Tucson, Arizona
  • June 1981-September 1982

Director of Community Education

  • Center Against Sexual Assault, Phoenix, Arizona
  • October 1978-June 1980