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North America

While some of the Sanford School’s study and research takes place in far-flung locations, a great deal of our scholarship is located in North America. Faculty members research some of the most pressing issues of our time related to health, energy, the environment, media and societal concerns such as inequality, education, governance and food policy. They explore such issues in Canada and Mexico as well as in the United States.

We also have robust partnerships within our hometown, the city of Durham, N.C. For example, researchers use data provided by the school system to research vital policy questions including investment in pre-kindergarten programs.

Students have also formed an effective program in which groups of students from diverse disciplines including public policy, business and engineering team up to help a local nonprofit solve a problem. How should a nonprofit keep its volunteer data safe? How can a nonprofit best showcase its success? Each semester dozens of students are working on such practical issues.

capitol building with flag

The fifth year of the Duke in DC domestic study away program brings with it a renewed focus on bipartisanship and bridging the political divide. The undergraduate program began in 2013 under the direction of Kristin Goss, associate professor of public policy and political science. It has a pre-professional tilt, connecting classroom study to experiential learning oriented around policy innovation and public leadership. The 14 students participating this semester will be tasked with thinking about ways to lessen polarization and will present their ideas to a member of Congress, Goss said.


“Never before has there been a mass resignation of foreign policy professionals within the first week of a presidency,” says Bruce Jentleson, a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University and a former senior adviser to the U.S. State Department policy planning director. "These are Foreign Service officers who have worked for one president after another, Republican and Democratic, committed to their oaths to serve the country they love. That so many of them believe the best way to serve their country is not to be involved in the foreign policy of the Trump administration sends a message we ignore at our own peril.”