Analysis + Action

We pursue innovative policy solutions to create positive change

headshot of terry sanford
Terry Sanford

The Sanford School of Public Policy is among the nation’s leading public policy schools, and offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral-level degrees in public policy and international development policy.

Launched in 1971 as the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs by Terry Sanford—President of Duke, former Governor of North Carolina, and later a U.S. Senator —it is one of the oldest and largest public policy programs in the nation.

It became Duke’s newest school in 2009.

Our interim Dean is Manoj Mohanan. He assumed the position July 1, 2024 and was appointed to a two-year term. Mohanan has been a faculty member at the Sanford School of Public Policy since 2011. He is an applied microeconomist, focusing on health and development economics, with a background in medicine and public health. At the time of his appointment, Mohanan was serving as senior associate dean for faculty and research.

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University is a community of excellence committed to producing knowledge and leadership to truly transform policy challenges.


100+ Faculty

Our faculty research pressing public policy issues and prepare students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.


8,000+ Alumni

Our alumni are part of an extensive Duke alumni network, making an impact worldwide.


1,000+ Students

Our students pursue the Sanford approach of care and service, with rigor and analysis. They learn from the world’s best faculty, from one another and through internships.


Our mission

Improve lives and communities by researching the most pressing public policy issues and preparing students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.

Facts & Rankings

Our purpose

Produce knowledge and leadership for the next generation of policy challenges.


Impact Report 2024

This report unfolds the narrative of the past five years, showcasing dozens of impactful examples—a testament to a century of shaping public policy for the better.

Read the report