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Sanford alumni serve in a variety of ways.

You are invited to volunteer in critical roles that will contribute to the growth, leadership and future of our program and the world.

Click here for the Volunteer Interest Form

Alumni Councils and Networks

Sanford Alumni Task Force Member

After hosting our first meeting in Fall 2017, this task force is looking for alumni who are willing to serve as thought-leaders and liaisons between the Sanford School and our Sanford alumni community of over 7,300 alumni. This group will meet twice a year on campus and host monthly calls via WebEx while working on the identified projects and goals for the year. This group will report and work directly with the Director of Alumni Engagement for the Sanford School and indirectly with various Associate Deans of the School and the Dean. Members must be willing and able to meet on campus twice a year, participate in monthly calls and work and host (or identify places to host) regional events (if necessary) in their home areas.

MPP Alumni Advisory Council Member

MPP Alumni Advisory Council is a newly formed council charged by the Dean of the Sanford School to convene and provide ongoing program feedback to the leadership of the school and its faculty. The committee will offer input on Sanford’s curriculum, including both core and elective course offerings; identify any skill and content areas missing from the curriculum that may better position students for success upon entering the workforce discuss emerging challenges and opportunities and provide recommendations for further improvements. This small and important committee reports to the chair and Director of the MPP program in close consultation with the Associate Dean of Career Services. An interview and application is necessary to move forward in the process when vacancies occur.

Sanford Black Alumni Network

We are looking for leaders to launch the Sanford Black Alumni Network. As a member for this inaugural year, you will work closely with fellow black alumni to create a structure, program and events to support, celebrate and recognize our black PPS, MIDP, MPP and PhD alumni. This group will develop the necessary tools to enrich the experience of black students, faculty staff and alumni on campus and in our regional communities. Opportunities include special celebratory programs or commencement ceremonies, mentoring, regional programs and welcome receptions, and more. This group will host its first interest call in early spring 2018 and based on the response will host a follow up meeting either on campus or at the Duke in DC office in late spring 2018.

Sanford Women in Policy Alumni Network

This network is in its beginning phase and is looking for dynamic and passionate leaders to help create the structure, programming and engagement opportunities to launch this network. Ideally, the network would celebrate, recognize, encourage and support women in policy and will serve as mentors and resources to our current Sanford women students. Opportunities include exclusive events on campus and in the region with faculty and professional speakers to address common issues for women.

International Sanford Alumni Network

This network would work through two meetings a year (held via WebEx) with Sanford faculty and staff to address opportunities for programming, events, and support for our international alumni. Additionally, this group could serve as mentors and resources to our current international students at the Sanford school. As a new network, we are looking for alumni who would be interested in pioneering ideas, opportunities and programming to prepare to launch this network into action.


Sanford Regional/International Alumni Ambassador

As the regional/international alumni ambassador you will serve as a resource for alumni in the area looking to be engaged or for opportunities to share ideas for engagement in your region. You will be asked to attend at least one – two events a year in your region as well as host (or identify an appropriate venue to host) a local alumni event. You will serve as a liaison to the Director of Alumni Engagement and regional alumni in your area. Quarterly teleconference meetings are required with the alumni director and additional alumni ambassadors in your area. Events you may help to coordinate include: Faculty on the Road events, Sanford Celebratory Events, Welcome to the Sanford Alumni Network Events for recent graduates, Socials, Networking, Game Watch events, and Service projects. These events will be at the discretion of you and your fellow ambassadors in addition to the Director of Alumni Engagement.

Regional/International Alumni Event Host

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  • Photo of 2 members of Alumni Task force meeting

    The Sanford School Thanks 128 Alumni Volunteers

    Anna Koelsch PPS'14 and Rishonda Thomas PPS'16 were among the 128 volunteers who gave back to Sanford during 2017. They served on the Sanford Alumni Task Force.





As an event host, you will communicate with the Director of Alumni Engagement to share potential dates and venues that you can host an event in the calendar year. Potential events include: faculty on the road events, Sanford Celebratory Events, Welcome to the Sanford Alumni Network Events for recent graduates, Sanford Social, Networking & Business Breakfast, Game Watch, Service project and more. The specifics of the events will be at your discretion as well as the discretion of the director of alumni engagement and regional/international alumni ambassadors.

Duke Alumni Association (DAA) Sanford Chapter Board Representative

The Sanford School Chapter Board Representative is instrumental in serving as a voice for alumni of the school on the duke alumni association chapter board. In this role, you encourage the DAA Chapter board to pursue programming that engaged a broad cross-section of the alumni populations, beyond the traditional undergraduate experience. Most importantly, you will serve as a voice and liaison of the Sanford School gathering information of areas and programming of interest in the region and sharing that feedback with the Director of Alumni Engagement for the Sanford School. You will also receive information of upcoming Sanford programming, events and opportunities from the Alumni Director and share that information with the chapter board and Sanford alumni in the region. In addition to attending DAA chapter regional board meetings, you may also be asked to host (or identify an appropriate venue) a Sanford Alumni event in your area. For more information on DAA responsibilities, click here.

On Campus

Career Speaker

As a career speaker, we will ask for you to share your professional biography, topic of expertise, ability to travel and dates of availability. You will then be placed on a list shared with Sanford career services professionals, the Director of Alumni Engagement, and our regional alumni ambassadors. At that point, you may be contacted from either of those entities for participation to speak either in a class or with alumni in the region.

Guest Speaker

As a guest speaker, we will ask for you to share your professional biography, topic of expertise, ability to travel and dates of availability. You will then be placed on a list shared with our faculty, Director of Alumni Engagement and regional alumni ambassadors. Once selected, you will receive an email inquiring about your availability to speak either on campus or at a regional event for alumni.

Reunion/Homecoming Volunteer

As a reunion or Homecoming volunteer we will ask for your leadership and creative thinking to help us plan engaging programs and events during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. Specifically, you will be asked to help identify additional volunteers to recruit alumni celebrating their class of affinity reunion to return to campus for the special weekend activities. For reunion volunteers, you also may be asked to help solicit alumni to make a contribution towards their class.


Alumni Career Developer

Sponsor a student for an internship or hire a graduate at your company. Please note that the substance of the project must address a public policy issue to qualify as a public policy internship.

MPP/MIDP Alumni Career Mentor

As a Career Mentor you are asked to meet on campus one time a year with your mentee (or through a Skype/FaceTime if you are international) and correspond at least monthly with your mentee. You may be asked to help your mentee with assignments or professional preparation such as a mock interview. This a yearlong commitment with opportunities to renew after successful completion of your first term. Applications and interviews may be required. Mentees are selected through a career services interview and application process.

PPS Major Alumni Career Mentor

As a PPS Major mentor, you will be featured throughout the year on the PPS Major website and social media platforms. Students will receive an email that will highlight your professional profile and will be encouraged to reach out to connect with professional questions and advice. You will be able to decide which students you’d like to have a professional mentorship with through their outreach in which we’d ask for you to correspond at least monthly with your mentee. Your featured profile may be shared twice a year soliciting engagement from PPS majors twice a year.

MPP Alumni

Applicant Referral

As a volunteer in this area, we would look for you to submit and identify prospective students that we should engage with to apply to the Sanford School of Public Policy. You may nominate or refer students directly through the Director of MPP Admissions & Scholarship, Jessica Pan, or encourage them to apply independently. We would also ask for you to be an ambassador in your workplace and among fellow alumni encouraging them also to identify and refer potential students to Sanford.

MPP Prospective Student Contact

As a MPP prospective student contact, you will work directly with Jessica Pan, Director of MPP Admissions & Scholarship. Sporadically throughout the year, Jessica will share with you a list of prospective students who are interested in your area of expertise. We would ask you to then reach out and communicate with those students via email or phone in a timely manner – preferably between 48-72 hours after Jessica shares the prospects contact information.

MPP Admitted Student Mentor/Advisor

As an MPP admitted student mentor/advisor you will be asked to chat with admitted students via email and phone during the time of their acceptance until enrollment (March – April 15). We hope that you will be able to provide them with information about your experience and provide advice as they go through the process of deciding which program is best for their needs. While we would love for all admitted students to choose Sanford, ultimately we want this to be the best match for both the student and our program. Your guidance, feedback and candor will help admitted students make the critical decision of whether or not to enroll at Sanford.

MPP Recruiting Fair Representative

As an MPP recruiting fair representative, you will attend an in-person recruiting fair in select cities to speak one-on-one with prospective students. The typical duration for this event would be 2-3 hours. You will receive information on the program from Jessica Pan, Director of MPP Admissions & Scholarship. These events occur typically from September – November.

MPP Employer Site Visit

If you are interested in hosting an employer site visit, you would connect Jessica Pan, Director of MPP Admissions and Scholarship with your employer to help us coordinate a recruiting site visit. We would also need your assistance in booking a room on-site and helping with outreach to potential colleagues who should attend.

MPP Admissions Ambassador

An MPP Admissions Ambassador works closely with Jessica Pan, Director of MPP Admissions & Scholarship to serve as a resource to prospective and admitted Sanford students by hosting online chats, phone conversations, email exchanges, coffee chats and attending open houses for admitted students in late March or early April. The pre-open house mixer occurs on Thursday evening (often at Tyler’s Taproom) and the post-open house mixer occurs on Friday evening (typically at Fullsteam Brewery).

Duke Reader MPP Project Volunteer

Sanford MPP Project students need a pool of experienced alumni who are willing to spend a few hours over the course of a semester helping Sanford students develop their writing skills. Volunteers offer MPP students the opportunity to get feedback on their writing from an experienced Duke alum who has the background and expertise to serve as an authentic member of the target audience for the writing. Interested in being a reader? Find out more here.

MIDP Alumni

MIDP Applications Reader

As an MIDP Applications reader you will work closely with MIDP staff to review and provide feedback on MIDP applications. An interview is required before selected to serve as a reader with the MIDP staff.

MIDP Admissions Event Ambassador

As an MIDP Admissions Event Ambassador, you will represent the MIDP program during a recruitment event or college fair. In working with the MIDP staff liaison, you will be provided with content and information to share with prospective students. You will be responsible for answering prospective students’ questions and sharing your experience as a positive role model for the program and school.

To volunteer click here. For more about engagement opportunities, contact our Director of Alumni Engagement, Durice Galloway.