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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.

Prof. Sandy Darity"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            Alex Pfaff
Charles Clotfelter Judith Kelley Billy Pizer
William (Sandy) Darity Robert Korstad Seth Sanders
 Ken Dodge Anirudh Krishna Donald Taylor
 Joel Fleishman   Giovanna Merli  Peter Ubel
Christina Gibson-Davis  Subhrendu Pattanayak Kate Whetten
Kristin Goss Philip Michael Napoli  
Associate Professors    
Sarah Bermeo Marc Jeuland  
Nicholas Carnes    
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  

young woman, smiling"I chose to pursue a PhD because I wanted to learn and acquire the research skills I needed to understand complex policy challenges and contribute to their solutions. I chose Sanford because it provided the right balance of training and application and because of the opportunities to work with faculty at the forefronts of their fields. I appreciated the collaborative approach to mentorship modeled by the faculty with whom I worked, and I found Sanford to be an excellent place to grow as a policy scholar.” 

Emily Pakhtigian PhD'20, Assistant Professor, Penn State

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.