Policy Director

Brandie Burris-Gallagher

Brandie works in partnership with educators, parents, and advocates to advance policies that will create opportunities for Minnesota families to choose the best educational models for their children. Originally from the South, she began her career as a Teach For America corps member in New Orleans. There, Brandie taught at a traditional district school, helped launch a charter school, and worked for the Louisiana Department of Education to turnaround under-performing schools in the New Orleans Recovery School District. She then managed policy for Educators 4 Excellence-Connecticut before moving to Minnesota, her husband’s home state, in 2016. In Minnesota, she found her home at EdAllies, where her inner organizer and passion for reimagining what is possible for students are both welcomed. When not at the Capitol or meeting with community and school leaders, Brandie can be found listening to podcasts and cuddling with her puppy, Liev, and daughter, Yara. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Business.

What part of your job gets you out of bed in the morning?

I absolutely love having one-on-ones with community and school leaders to learn about their work and their passion for educational change. Whether my goal is to make a new connection, or deepen someone’s involvement in education advocacy, one-on-ones are always the best part of my day. I take our name, EdAllies, to heart, and truly seek to be an ally to those who work closely with Minnesota students. Getting to know these advocates isn’t just fun and inspiring, it’s also the foundation of our partnership and collaboration, which leads to a greater collective impact for students.

Why is equity important to you?

I strive to infuse an equity lens into every facet of my work. In my public-facing work as an advocate, equity is about influencing state leaders to prioritize investments and policies to help Minnesotan students and families most in-need. Internally, on the EdAllies team, it’s about creating an inclusive environment that allows each of us—despite our differences in opinions, politics, backgrounds, etc.—to feel empowered to do our best work for kids.