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Kristin Anne Goss
Kevin D. Gorter Associate Professor of Public Policy
Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Director of Duke in DC, Policy, Leadership & Innovation
Associate Professor of Political Science
Faculty Affiliate in the Hart Leadership Program
Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society
Faculty Affiliate in the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Voluntarism

Areas of Expertise


Ph.D., Harvard University (2003)
M.P.P., Duke University (1996)
B.A., Harvard University (1987)


Podcast episode featuring Kristin Goss' work:


Kristin Goss talks about the missing movement for gun control in America. Listen:


The role of women voters in the presidential contest (CCTV-America)



Professor Goss focuses on why people do (or don't) participate in political life and how their engagement affects public policymaking. Her current research projects focus on the role of philanthropic billionaires in policy debates and on the evolution of gun-related advocacy over the past decade. See more about Professor Goss at

Professor Goss directs the "Duke in DC" program, which provides select undergraduates with an immersive experience combining work experience and policy-oriented seminars.

She also is active in the Triangle Area chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, which amplifies the voice of university-based academics in public policy debates.

Professor Goss is the author of The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women's Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice (University of Michigan Press, 2013). The book documents and explains the surprising rise -- and even more surprising fall -- of American women's groups on the national stage. Systematically examining these groups' issue agendas over the last century, the book argues that public policy has profoundly shaped the nature and magnitude of women's collective voice in important national debates.

Professor Goss is also the co-author (with Philip J. Cook) of The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2014) and author of Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006, 2009), which examines the strategic and political barriers to mass mobilization for stricter firearms regulation. The latter book is based on her doctoral study, which won the American Political Science Association’s 2003 Harold D. Lasswell Award for the nation’s best dissertation in policy studies.

Professor Goss has published articles in Perspectives on Politics, Social Science Quarterly, Politics & Gender, Women & Politics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and the Fordham Law Review, as well as several book chapters. She is author of Better Together, the report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America.

Before her appointment at Duke, Professor Goss taught American politics courses at Georgetown University and served as a consultant for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Her Duke master’s thesis explored the challenges facing voluntary associations seeking to stop the epidemic of gun violence in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.

Professor Goss grew up near Denver, where she developed a passion for figure skating and animal welfare. Before entering academe, she was a Washington-based journalist for six years covering non-profit organizations and foundations for The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Selected Grants