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#HumansOfDukeSanford: Jessica Van Meir, PPS '17

I’m majoring in Public Policy and Gender Sexuality & Feminist Studies. My internship experience this summer actually didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. I was supposed to be working for the U.S. Embassy in #Ecuador…but I didn’t get security clearance. They’ve been having issues getting stuff done on time. It’s a very bureaucratic process. So I ended up interning with an NGO in Ecuador called “Proyecto Transgénero,” which means “Project Transgender.”


#HumansOfDukeSanford: Quauhtli Olivieri

My name’s a bit tricky to spell, you might want to look at my Duke ID. Quauhtli (pronounced kwat-lee) means “eagle” in Aztec. It’s one of the symbols in the Aztec calendar, and there are other names that can derive from it. For example, Quauhtémoc was the last Aztec emperor, and his name means “eagle warrior.” It’s a root name.


MIDP alumna advances human rights in Colombia

As Chemonics’ deputy chief of party for the USAID/Colombia Human Rights Program, Laura Zambrano MIDP’04 plays a key role building the capacity of the Colombian government and civil society to prevent and respond to human rights violations. Ongoing since 2000, the program is one of the largest in the world related to human rights.


#HumansofDukeSanford: Mathama and Amina Bility

Two sisters smiling

Mathama and Amina Bility are sisters, both pursuing degrees in public policy and global health. They have produced a documentary on Ebola, shot on location in Lberia, that will premiere at the American Public Health Association Conference in Denver Oct. 29-Nov. 2.


Fellow's research presented at food summit

Research conducted by Ruben Estuardo Piñeda Delgado MIDP’17 was presented at the Food Policy Regional Leaders Summit, held Sept. 8-9 at the Duke Endowment headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The summit brought together leaders at government agencies, universities and nonprofits across North and South Carolina to discuss innovative, cross-cutting solutions to pressing food issues such as hunger, obesity and food safety in the Carolinas.


Thinking Differently About Economics and Development

Indermit Gill

Growing up in India, Indermit Gill always thought of economics in terms of improving people’s lives. Gill spent more than 20 years as an economist with the World Bank, most recently as the director for development policy. In October, he will take the helm as director of the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) in Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.


New Faculty: Philipsen Says Choice Goes Way Beyond “Either-Or”

Dirk Philipsen

Dirk Philipsen wears many hats. An economist and historian, he serves as a senior research scholar and fellow at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics. This year he also takes on responsibilities as an associate research professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He recently wrote a book about GDP as the world’s predominant measure of economic performance, The Little Big Number: How GDP Came to Rule the World and What to do About It.


Napoli, New to Sanford’s Faculty, Takes Pulse of Local Journalism, Social Media

Phil Napoli joins Sanford faculty this fall as the James R. Shepley professor of public policy and a faculty affiliate of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. He comes to Duke from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Napoli’s field of expertise is media regulation and policy. His recent book, Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences, examines how developments in technology have affected how the media make sense of their audiences.


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.


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.


Humans of Duke Sanford: Adi Pradana, MPP'16

Adi PradanaSo I won a contest that’s looks for new ideas for ‘blind spots’ in international development. (It was beginner’s luck, I didn’t think it would be that good!) Coming from Indonesia, I worked for the government in forestry. In Indonesia, one of the biggest issues is deforestation. It’s one of the top deforesters in the world. We don’t have the capacity to enforce or monitor rules. So I proposed the idea of using drones.


Duke Athlete Balances Baseball, Policy

Jalen at bat

Between baseball and his coursework, Jalen Phillips PPS’16 has a lot on his plate.Phillips, a left-hander who plays first base and outfield for Duke, decided to study public policy to seek solutions to issues of inequality. “I find it interesting that there are pretty large disparities between what the wealthy could afford and what those that did not have much could afford,” the Ocoee, Fla., native said. “I realized that changes through policy … it is the sword that gets things done.”