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Alumni Profiles & News

Alumni Profiles & News

02.14.2017

Alumna charts career path toward fighting human trafficking

Andrea Wilson

Andrea Wilson, MPP/MBA’12, knew what she wanted when she came to the Sanford School. She had developed an interest in combating human trafficking during her six years in finance and program development with nonprofit organizations in Washington state and wanted to make a career shift into the area. She applied to organizations in the field, but hit a snag—most required prior anti-trafficking experience. A dual master’s degree from Duke was the answer.

01.31.2017

Alum leverages policy degree to help get medical products to patients in need

charles matthews

Amid a changing health policy landscape, Charles Mathews MPP’04, sees his Sanford degree as a critical tool. Mathews, a vice president at Boston Healthcare Associates (BHA), has a niche role in the industry: helping companies figure out how to show the value of new technologies to payers (insurance companies) so they will pay for them.  In particular he focuses on new medical laboratory tests. 

11.21.2016

#HumansOfDukeSanford: Lee Anne Jillings, PPS '88

Lee Anne Jillings

Charlie Clotfelter’s class was incredibly impactful and memorable. I’ve always been incredibly interested in public policy and human issues, and his class really brought those two together, from the role of the nonprofit in serving communities and needs that the federal systems wouldn’t support and private sector wouldn’t support. When I was at OSHA, after four years, I took a big risk and left to a startup nonprofit dealing with worker safety and health issues, and it was through inspiration from that class that it all fit together. To this day, I look back on that class as being one of the more impactful ones.

11.10.2016

MPP Alumna Guides Implementation of Obamacare in New York

Sonia Sekhar

Sonia Sekhar MPP’14 knows the Affordable Care Act like the back of hand. She has to—it’s her job to implement the law for New York. Sekhar is director of policy and planning for New York State of Health, the state’s health exchange.

10.31.2016

Alumnus Profile: Gregg Behr MPP’00: Combining Philanthropy and Innovation in Education

This summer, Gregg Behr, MPP/JD’00, was stunned to find himself at the White House, attending an event as a guest of honor. Behr was being celebrated as one of 10 “Champions of Change for Making.” The category honors people who successfully promote hands-on learning and serve their communities through innovation and creativity.

09.01.2016

Sanford Alumna Combats Human Trafficking Around the World

Combating human trafficking around the world was not what Susan Coppedge PPS’88 expected to be doing after leaving Duke. Initially, she wanted to practice environmental law. But an experience while she was an assistant U.S. attorney put the Stanford law grad on the path that eventually would lead to her current job: Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State.

08.23.2016

Sanford grad comes full circle, returns as professor this fall

For Sarah Komisarow, stepping into a Sanford classroom is coming home. She graduated summa cum laude from Duke in 2008, with a B.A. in Public Policy. When she returns this fall, she’ll have a new title—this time, she’ll be Professor Komisarow.

04.13.2016

Meeting the Challenge: Alum Pioneers Healthy Beef

Claire Herminjard

Claire Herminjard PPS’05 is the founder and CEO of Mindful Meats, a company based in Point Reyes Station, Calif., that supplies pasture-raised, certified organic beef to consumers.

03.08.2016

Improving Health by Changing the Environment

Sarah Strunk

Sarah Strunk PPS’87 never envisioned she would be working in public health, much less that she would have to consider the needs of a local pig hunters’ association to do it.

01.26.2016

Sanford Alum Helps Improve Economic Mobility of Front-line Retail Workers

Walmart exterior

As Senior Manager for Global Responsibility at Walmart, Luis Maes MPP’14 is tasked with leading a five-year, $100 million initiative that seeks to address a fundamental challenge in the retail employment landscape – how to better train and advance entry-level workers.

12.02.2015

Caitlin Durkovich PPS'94 Safeguards America's Infrastructure

There is no typical day for Caitlin Durkovich PPS’94. As Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, she oversees the nation’s efforts to protect America’s infrastructure -- the assets, systems and networks that enable the American way of life -- from outside threats.

10.27.2015

Summer Internship Series: Alum Connects Colombians With Health Care

Felipe Magofke with the team from Bive.

In some regions of Colombia, low-income people who need to see a medical specialist wait three to six months, and pay a high cost for care that is often low-quality. One startup company is seeking to change that. Duke Sanford School of Public Policy graduate Felipe Magofke MIDP’15 spent his summer in Colombia working with Bive, a health care membership service that provides low-income workers and their families with faster and cheaper access to medical care.

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