Jennifer Burns is Professor in the Department of History at the University of Virgina, USA. She studied at Harvard University and at the University of California, Berkeley.

She attracted significant attention for her book "Goddess of the Market", a biography of the controversial author and philosopher Ayn Rand, who became an important rallying figure for American conservatives. In the course of research for her book, Jennifer Burns became the first independent historian to be granted access to the Ayn Rand Archive. Her other research focuses on the belief in capitalism in American society in its interplay with seemingly contradictory ideologies, such as religion.

In May 2011, Jennifer Burns will be at the CAS as a visiting fellow as part of the CAS research focus "Transatlantic Cultures" als Visiting Fellow am CAS. Während ihres Aufenthaltes wird sie in dem von Michael Kimmage organisierten Workshop "The Enlightenment between Europe and the United States. Twentieth-Century Tensions" einen Vortrag zum Thema "The Death and Rebirth of the Autonomous Self" halten.