Meet Emanuel’s senator


Since January of 2021, District 23’s Senator is Dr. Max Burns.


Recent redistricting saw all of Emanuel reassigned to Senator Burns’s district. Prior to the redrawing of senate lines, the county was divided into two districts, District 23 led by Burns and District 4 represented by Senator Billy Hickman.


The Chronicle has arranged for an interview with Senator Burns to get a feel for what he most enjoys about being a senator, what accomplishments on the senate floor he is most proud of to date, what goals he has moving forward, and what he wants his new Emanuel constituents to know about him. Look for this piece to roll out in April.


In the meantime, however, here’s an overview of Senator Burns and his road to public service.

First off, the Republican senator has extensive experience in Georgia business and education as well as a previous stint in congress.


Burns is a Millen native. He is married to Lora Burns. The couple shares two sons and three grandchildren. In his spare time, Senator Burns enjoys reading, traveling, golf, and bass fishing. The Burnses are active members of Jackson Baptist Church in Sylvania.


Burns earned his Bachelor of Industrial Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, his Master’s of Business Information Systems, and his Ph.D. in Business Administration from Georgia State University.


After earning his Ph.D., Burns served as a tenured Professor of Management in the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University. There, he earned the title of Fulbright Scholar in Sweden. He also had the privilege of working as a visiting professor of information management at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.


Dr. Burns served in the U.S. Army Reserve as well as the Screven County Commission. He worked as a consultant to Gulfstream Aerospace and Grinnell Mechanical Products. He developed the Southern Suppliers’ Network, which connects southeast Georgia’s small business suppliers to major manufacturers.


In 2002, Burns was elected to the 108th Congress, representing Georgia’s 12th Congressional District. He served one term, from 2003 to 2005.


After serving in Congress, Burns proceeded to work as a senior policy advisor for Thelen Reid & Priest, LLC. He has also served on the board of directors for the U.S. Fulbright Association and Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges.


Burns made his return to academia as Dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, then president of Gordon State College in Barnesville from January 2012 until his retirement in December 2017.


After Senator Jesse Stone announced that he would not seek re-election, Burns seized the opportunity to run as District 23’s representative.


He has no 2022 opposition and hopes to “continue to resolve issues that are important to this district.”


The freshman republican was appointed to be the next chair of the Ethics Committee by Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate Geoff Duncan. Duncan cited Senator Burns’s “experience, demeanor, and maturity” as making him the right Senator for the job.

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