Emily Burns

Senior Consultant | Kaiwhiriwhiri Matua
Wellington office - on parental leave

Emily is a positive and energetic policy professional and leader, with experience leading and supporting teams and organisations to change their culture and contribute successfully to government priorities. She is also experienced in designing and carrying out complex research projects.

Emily is resilient and a strong performer under pressure, having worked in some of the most demanding and fast-changing environments at the Ministry of Health through the COVID-19 epidemic. She has considerable experience working in both central and local government.

The clients, colleagues, and stakeholders she works with all value Emily and her clear, positive communication style. Through building successful, productive relationships in this way, Emily is able to achieve high-quality work through others, as well as directly herself.

Emily chairs the board of a perinatal not-for-profit organisation, as well as having other governance experience. She also has a Master’s degree in Leadership.

Examples of Emily’s work

  • A proven leader – Emily led a newly established team in supporting the health sector to navigate fast-paced policy and technology changes to the national contact tracing system. She developed change processes and communication strategies across business units, building strong relationships inside and outside the Ministry of Health. Emily also led the work to quickly establish and put into action an all-of-government contact tracing centre during the COVID-19 Delta outbreak, exceeding all targets.

  • Strong capability in delivery – Emily managed the Construction Skills Action Plan Programme and led a re-scope and evaluation of the programme in response to COVID-19. She thrived under pressure in providing complex advice to Ministers and guidance to regulated parties.

  • Experience in designing and leading research – Emily designed and led national and international research projects for an international company, drawing on quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and she managed the fieldwork teams.

Emily’s qualifications

Emily has a Master’s degree in Leadership (Distinction) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Outstanding) from University College London. She also completed a Master’s in History and Politics (with Honours) at the University of Glasgow.

She has additional qualifications in change management, tikanga and te reo Māori, regulatory compliance, and market and social research.