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Alumni Profiles & News

Alumni Profiles & News


Alumnus Profile: Jack Conway '91 Follows His Heart

Jack Conway '91, at the podium at a political rally

When Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway ’91 stepped behind the podium last March to announce he would no longer defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban, he was, in effect, walking onto the national stage. What caught the attention of hundreds of thousands of online viewers was the catch in Conway’s voice when he discussed the role his wife played in his decision.


In Search of a Home Brew: Sean Lilly Wilson MBA/MPP’00

An MPP/MBA alum shares his experience of creating Durham's Fullsteam tavern and brewery in his quest to capture the flavor of the South.


Mentorship in Health Policy Benefits Future Physician

“One thing that is exceptional about Duke is the way that professors genuinely care and respect students,” said public policy alum Will Woodhouse PPS’14. “I believe Duke and Sanford professors seek to mentor and challenge students in whom they see potential.”


Alumnus Profile: Aleksi Aleksishvili MIDP '04, Fiscal Reformer

Rewriting a nation’s entire tax code might seem like a pipedream to most policymakers, but that’s what alumnus Aleksi Aleksishvili MIDP’04 was able to do for his home country of Georgia. As part of the administration brought into power by the “Rose Revolution,” Aleksishvili was able to institute sweeping tax and economic reforms in his work as Minister of Economy (2004-2005) and Minister of Finance (2005-2007).


Alumnus Profile: Andrew Rosen PPS'82, CEO of Kaplan Inc.

The phrase “higher education” usually conjures images of leafy college quads, imposing stone buildings and school spirit fed by winning sports teams. That image leads to a bad case of “Harvard envy,” and a mismatch between the current system and the educational needs of the majority of the population, according to Andy Rosen, PPS/History '82, chairman and CEO of Kaplan Inc., the for-profit education and test-preparation company.


Alumnus Profile: Danny Werfel MPP'97

Photo of President Obama and Danny Werfel

Daniel Werfel MPP’97 established a reputation as a problem-solver during his 15 years of service at the White House Office of Management and Budget. That reputation led to his appointment as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service in May 2013, when the agency was under fire for possible political discrimination.


Meet Idrissa Kamara, MIDP’02

After two months in Sudan, Idrissa Kamara MIDP’02 was ready to give up. He and his fellow humanitarian aid workers for Save the Children arrived in what is now South Sudan in March 2005 to help implement a basic health, water, hygiene and HIV/AIDS services program. They found themselves fighting intense heat, sleeping on dirt floors and treating contaminated water from a nearby river.


Michael Sorrell MPP'90/JD'94, Turnaround Artist

Michael Sorrell with PQC students

Lawyer and businessman Michael Sorrell MPP'90/JD’94 took the reins at Paul Quinn College, a historically black college (HBCU) in Dallas on the verge of collapse, in the spring of 2007. Sorrell turned the situation around with significant changes and accomplishments during his tenure.


Alumnus Profile: Ran Coble MPP'77

As the executive director of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research (NCCPPR), Ran Coble MPP’77 has had a long career in public policy, providing nonpartisan, independent research on issues important to the state. Coble recently announced his upcoming retirement in September from the position to which he has devoted the past 33 years.


Alumna Profile: Catherine Herrold PhD'13

When Catherine Herrold PhD’13 traveled to Cairo, Egypt, to conduct her dissertation research on philanthropy, she could not have anticipated finding herself in the midst of the political unrest of the Arab Spring.


Alumna Profile: Mary Adkins PPS'04

Mary Adkins PPS’04 has always had two great passions: law and the arts. On the path that led to her living a “dual track life,” Adkins consistently alternated between the two interests. Recently she found the balance that allows her to combine these passions into the influential website, Life of the Law, which features blogs, podcasts, and live events about the transformative role of the legal system in the lives of Americans.