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220 Allen Bldg, Box 90432
Durham, NC 27708
Duke Box 90005
Durham, NC 27708


(919) 684-2631


Noah M. Pickus
Associate Research Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Dean of Undergraduate Curricula Affairs and Faculty Developm at Duke Kunshan University

Areas of Expertise


Ph.D., Princeton University (1995)
M.A., Princeton University (1990)
B.A., Wesleyan University (1986)


Noah Pickus will teach the 2018 Spring Break 2018 class, College: Made in China. Preview:

  • Watch video features on Noah Pickus' Spring Break course Hamilton: Music, History and Politics here and here
  • Watch his address at Fudan University here
  • Noah Pickus reflects on teaching in China in A Kunshan Diary


Noah Pickus is Associate Provost and Senior Advisor to the Provost at Duke University, Dean of Undergraduate Curricular Affairs and Faculty Development at Duke Kunshan University (DKU), and Associate Research Professor of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy.  At Duke, he focuses on strategic planning, learning innovation, and policy engagement and co-authored Duke’s new Strategic Plan: Together Duke. At DKU, he led the design of an innovative, interdisciplinary, and problem-based undergraduate curriculum and is responsible for hiring a new faculty, implementing the curriculum, and developing innovative pedagogical approaches. 

Pickus was previously the Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics (KIE) at Duke University, where he established the institute as a signature university-wide program and oversaw its expansion in research, policy engagement, and high impact undergraduate programming. Prior to joining the Kenan Institute for Ethics, he was the founding director of the Institute for Emerging Issues under former Governor James B. Hunt Jr. at NC State University, a university-based entrepreneurial venture in shaping public debate, public policy, and institutional practices.  

An American Council on Education Fellow at Franklin & Marshall College, Pickus is currently a lead curriculum designer and faculty member at the Arizona State University-Georgetown University Academy for Innovation in Higher Education Leadership. He co-directed the Brookings-Duke Immigration Policy Roundtable and is the author of True Faith and Allegiance: Immigration and American Civic Nationalism (Princeton University Press) and Immigration and Citizenship in the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield), as well as essays on ethics and public affairs education.  

Pickus is an author of multiple policy reports including Liberal Arts and Sciences Innovation in China: Six Recommendations to Shape the Future (Center for International Higher Education, 2017); Breaking the Immigration Stalemate: From Deep Disagreements to Constructive Proposals (Brookings/Duke, 2009); Jump-Starting Innovation: 10 Principles to Guide the New Economy (The Institute for Emerging Issues, 2003); Biotechnology and Humanity at the Crossroads of a New Era (The Institute for Emerging Issues, 2002); and Becoming American/America Becoming: Final Report of the Duke University Workshop  on Immigration and Citizenship (Sanford Institute of Public Policy, 1998).      

He teaches courses on citizenship and globalization, innovation and higher education, and ethics and vocation. He has previously taught at Middlebury College as well as in China and Israel. Pickus has held fellowships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, and the H.B. Earhart Foundation. A native Californian, he is a triathlete and faculty advisor for the Duke Triathlon Club. He is president of Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC. Pickus earned a bachelor’s degree in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and a doctorate in politics from Princeton University. 

Representative Publications

Selected Grants