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.
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.
Sanford professor Helen "Sunny" Ladd participated in the Women's March on Washington following President Trump's inauguration.
I’m from Turkey, and I worked for the Minister of Finance there before coming to Sanford. It was a good job. It was a hard job, but hard is good. As a government official, you have to deal with difficult, unexpected situations.
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.
I’ll give you two answers for why I chose to major in both Public Policy and Computer Science. One is about my mantra about society and one is about the personal connections between the two. Personally, I would drive myself crazy just studying one discipline."
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.
"Before coming to Sanford, I was in the Peace Corps in Indonesia as an education volunteer. It was there that I saw how bad environmental problems are. I remember when I was hiking in the jungle with some friends, and all of a sudden, we came to a clearing. The whole side of the mountain had been razed. They cut all the trees down. My friend told me that this had been done on government territory. It was illegal and it was going to affect the local economies. Here at Sanford, I'm focusing on environmental policy, specifically as it relates to climate change."
More than 2 billion children worldwide are “invisible,” said Maya Ajmera, MPP’93. The founder and former president of the Global Fund for Children called invisibility “a lack of hope, a lack of opportunity and a lack of access.” Nearly half a billion children live in extreme poverty, 215 million are engaged in hazardous labor, 100 million live on the street, and 1.2 million are trafficked annually.
Judith Kelley, professor of public policy and political science, is an expert on election fraud and international election monitoring. She literally wrote a book on the topic. But until Monday, October 31, 2016, she had never voted.
The reason? She’s Danish, lives in the United States, and did not want to give up her Danish citizenship. Denmark requires voters to reside in country, and, until recently, did not allow dual citizenship. So she couldn’t vote in Denmark or the United States. Here’s what it was like.
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.
My parents immigrated from China to Singapore when they were quite young for work. As a kid moving from Singapore to the US and fitting in here, I realized my life had been a lot easier. We were really lucky. But it’s so arbitrary. For another family, maybe they had a more difficult route getting here, which makes so much of a difference in where we turn out, but you can’t forget that we all started in the same place.