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Faculty Advisors

Our Public Policy PhD faculty members represent diverse disciplinary backgrounds and numerous research interests.

The faculty consists of all members of the graduate faculty of Duke University with primary or secondary appointments in the Sanford School of Public Policy. It also includes members of the graduate faculties in the Departments of Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Sociology and other departments.  Faculty members of the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Fuqua School of Business, Duke Law School and other professional schools also work with our graduate students.

Our faculty enjoy interacting with our graduate students and discovering overlapping interests. A strength of our PhD program is the strong relationships developed between students and faculty through working together.

Professor Sandy Darity portrait

"Mentorship in the context of graduate study should largely be anchored around research collaboration, that mutually serves a senior scholar pursuing a research interest and helps the junior scholar get acclimated toward publishing. You should treat graduate students as full coauthors."

—​William "Sandy" Darity, Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies and Economics

Potential Faculty Advisors

We encourage you to learn more about the core Sanford faculty to see who you might work with to conduct research that makes a difference in our world. Following is a list of potential faculty advisors with links to their personal profile pages where you can learn about their research interests.

Potential Faculty Advisors at Sanford

Full Professors      
Kelly Brownell Bruce Jentleson            Helen (Sunny) Ladd Alex Pfaff
Charles Clotfelter Judith Kelley Frederick (Fritz) Mayer Billy Pizer
William (Sandy) Darity Robert Korstad Giovanna Merli  Seth Sanders
 Ken Dodge Bruce Kuniholm Subhrendu Pattanayak Donald Taylor
 Joel Fleishman   Anirudh Krishna Philip Michael Napoli Peter Ubel
Christina Gibson-Davis      Kate Whetten
Kristin Goss      
Associate Professors      
Sarah Bermeo Marc Jeuland    
Nicholas Carnes Tana Johnson    
Robert Conrad  Manoj Mohanan     
Anna Gassman-Pines Gunther Peck    
Assistant Professors      
Carolyn Barnes Robyn Meeks Steven Sexton  
Matthew Johnson Simon Miles    
Sarah A.G. Komisarow Jay Pearson    
Jennifer Lansford Deondra Rose    

Maeve Gearing PhD'13 portrait"I was interested in getting a PhD because I wanted to immerse myself in research to learn the skills to really dig deep into issues. I always advise prospective students to speak with the faculty members they are interested in working with. I researched professors at different schools, but I was most impressed with the depth and breadth of experience at Sanford. I even spoke with some professors at other schools who praised Sanford and their faculty. Duke was my first choice.” 

—Maeve Gearing PhD'13, Research Associate, Urban Institute 
Read about Maeve's experience at Sanford and beyond. 

Faculty Directories for Other Areas at Duke

You may also want to explore faculty working in other parts of Duke to see who might share your interests. Following are faculty directories to help you:

PhD Executive Committee

The faculty members that oversee the Public Policy PhD Program includes:

Three student representatives are also on the committee.