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George M. Burgess

Chief Operating Officer - Becker & Poliakoff

Public Policy and Administration



George Burgess is the Chief Operating Officer for Becker & Poliakoff, one of Florida's largest law firms with thirteen offices across Florida and in New York, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. He is responsible for oversight and guidance of the Firm’s business operations. Mr. Burgess also serves as Vice Chair of the Firm’s P3 Practice Group, and served as one of six gubernatorial appointees to the State’s P3 Partnership for Public Facilities Act Guidelines Task Force, which was charged with formulating guidelines to facilitate the use of the P3 delivery method for needed infrastructure projects across the State. The Task Force recommendations were submitted to the Governor and State Legislative leadership in mid-2014. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Miami-Dade County Commission-created P3 Task Force, which is charged with formulating recommended reforms to County policies, procedures and practices, as well as the development of best practice guidelines to help the County be better able to pursue major capital infrastructure projects utilizing the P3 deliver method.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Burgess served as Miami-Dade County Manager from 2003 to 2011, where he managed one of the largest and most sophisticated metropolitan governments in America. Mr. Burgess brought corporate-style strategic business management, performance improvement and accountability to County government and introduced a nationally recognized results-oriented government model to guide the operations County departments and agencies. He led the creation and implementation of the County’s first strategic plan and, according to independent surveys, dramatically improved resident satisfaction with County government services. Mr. Burgess oversaw the implementation of a new, highly regarded 311 call center for citizen access to government services, led the continuous improvement of County procurement practices, strengthened the County’s finances, dramatically increased cash reserve levels, advanced nationally recognized environmental sustainability initiatives, and dramatically enhanced the highly acclaimed web portal, to name just a few initiatives.

Under Mr. Burgess’ leadership the County also experienced an unprecedented level of public infrastructure investment. He was the driving force behind the voter approved $2.9 billion Building Better Communities Bond Program. Mr. Burgess also led numerous major infrastructure projects including the Port of Miami Tunnel, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the multi-billion dollar North and South Terminals at Miami International Airport, the people mover system and the Metrorail transit line extensions connecting the airport to downtown Miami, and the new state-of-the-art professional baseball stadium in downtown Miami.

Prior to his appointment as County Manager, Mr. Burgess served as Budget Director and Assistant County Manager for Miami-Dade County and Chief Financial Officer for Miami-Dade Public Schools. He also served as Interim Assistant City Manager for the City of Miami in 1996, where he was heavily involved in the development of a comprehensive strategy to pull the City out of the worst fiscal crisis in its history.

Mr. Burgess held the title of Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Florida International University, where he currently teaches graduate level classes in public private partnerships and collaboration. He is a member of the 2012-13 class of Leadership Florida.

Mr. Burgess holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Maine. He has received numerous recognitions including the Distinguished Public Service Practitioner of the Year Award from the American Society for Public Administration’s Southeast Conference. He lives with his wife Karen in Pinecrest, Florida.