Coleman Burke is a former HSUS board member. In 1979 he was awarded HSUS’s Joseph Wood Krutch Medal. According to an HSUS biography, it was Burke who introduced future president John Hoyt to HSUS in 1970 because he felt it appropriate that a minister run the organization. Burke joined HSUS's board in 1967 and served as chairman in the mid-1980s. Burke was a member of the board's "Deferred Compensation Committee," formed in 1983, that later made questionable transactions involving compensation for then-President John Hoyt and then-Treasurer Paul Irwin.
He died in 1999. He has also served as president of the American Bible Society and as a trustee of Hamilton College.