In keeping with our namesake’s legacy, the Sanford School of Public Policy has outrageous ambitions.
We aspire to be a great school of public policy for the 21st Century and to be recognized as a leader in our field.
The Duke Sanford School of Public Policy’s mission is to improve lives by researching the most pressing public policy issues and preparing students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.
In 2019, faculty and staff of the Sanford School met to discuss the shared values that define our community. These values (in alphabetical order) guide the Sanford School every day.
The Sanford School produces exemplary research that brings multiple disciplinary perspectives to bear on significant issues facing our local community, our nation, and the world. Our work is held to the highest standards of academic rigor and can be a model for policy-relevant, inter disciplinary research that has a real and positive impact on the world.
Our distinguished faculty includes 5 members of National Academies, 19 who hold distinguished chairs, and accomplished professionals such as former senior civilian attorney for the U.S. Army Tom Taylor and former Facebook executive Matt Perault.
Our teaching is of the highest caliber. We equip future and current policy leaders with the skills, knowledge and experiences that empower and inspire them to make a positive difference in the world.
Inclusion & Diversity
We have a vibrant and diverse community of scholars, teachers, administrators and students. We draw strength from a variety of disciplines, perspectives and personal backgrounds. We pride ourselves on the richness of our community. We recognize that to produce research that matters and to empower and inspire future leaders, we must embrace diversity. Indeed, it is the source of our strength. Learn more about our diversity & inclusion committee.
Integrity & Honesty
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Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to meet with campus visitors who have a wide variety of life experiences. During the 2019-2020 school year, the Hon. Dikgang Moseneke, who rose from a human rights leader during apartheid to Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa, spent time on campus as a Rubenstein Fellow. Moseneke is the eighth expert to join Duke's Rubenstein Fellows Academy, and the first international fellow.
Our goal is to always conduct ourselves in a moral, fair and decent manner. Whether we are supervising research or joining in a classroom conversation, we believe who we are, and how we act, matters. We hold ourselves up to the very highest ideals. We strive to be truthful – to ourselves, and others, even when it’s difficult. We aim to be honorable, and trustworthy.
When visitors enter the Sanford building, they often see small groups of students and faculty deep in conversation. It’s this kind of respect, for each other as people and as scholars, that matters to us. We respect ourselves and others. We value each member of our community, and care about their feelings and wellbeing. We accept each other wholly.
We strive to make a difference. Students and faculty conduct research and volunteer in our community. One professor is now serving as our mayor! We are deeply engaged with state, national and international communities, too, including public policy makers in governments, international organizations, nonprofits, media organizations and the private sector. We want our engagement to be a two-way street, both an avenue for projecting our research into policy and practice and a way for policy makers and practitioners to inform our teaching and research.