Mrs. Deirdre Johnson Burel

Program Officer

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement
K-12 Education


Deirdre Johnson Burel is a program officer for the New Orleans team with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, she helps develop programming priorities; reviews and recommends proposals for funding; maintains strong relationships with grant seekers and grantees, provides leadership and oversight for on-the-ground execution of program efforts, and designs and implements national grant initiatives, place-based work and multi-year projects that affect systematic change and program strategy in New Orleans. Prior to joining the foundation, Johnson Burel was the executive director at Orleans Public Education Network in New Orleans where she effectively developed organizational structure and built the capacity of the organization to serve as a leading voice for authentic community engagement and influence in New Orleans education reform. Prior to this, she served as the director of education and community investment at the Greater New Orleans Foundation; director of programs for Urban League of Greater New Orleans; and director of policy and research for Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education in Atlanta. Johnson Burel is a former W.K. Kellogg Community Leadership fellow. She has held a number of board positions including board chair for Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools; advisory board member of the Education Research Alliance at Tulane University; advisory board member of National Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS); founding board member of Crescent City Schools; founding board member of Orleans Public Education Network; and advisory board member for Breakthrough New Orleans. Johnson Burel obtained her MPA with a focus in public policy and non-profit management from New York University, Robert F. Wagner, Graduate School of Public Service. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.