Course-only Program

The Duke Global Policy Intensive Course-only Program takes place in Geneva, Switzerland.

During the week-long intensive course, students will learn how international and non-governmental organizations in Geneva are addressing today’s most pressing global challenges.  

  1. Global Health
  2. Humanitarian Crises, Refugees, and Human Rights

The week includes meetings with approximately 20 practitioners, site visits to Geneva-based IGOs and NGOs, networking events, professional coaching, group case simulations, and a culminating policy memo assignment. It’s a rigorous week that shapes students’ professional and personal ambitions. 

The Intensive Course Week will take place Monday, June 26  through Friday June 30, 2023.

Is multilateral cooperation irreparably broken? Or could a new, fairer form of global health and humanitarian action be forged in the pandemic recovery and post-pandemic era? This intensive course week will address these and other critical questions through:

  • Seminars with leading global health and humanitarian practitioners from key multilateral agencies, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, International Organization for Migration, the WHO, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNHC
  • “Site visits” to see the inner workings of these agencies
  • Interactive lectures on global health, humanitarian action, and multilateralism. Speakers will include scholars and practitioners from high burden nations.
  • Debates, readings, case studies, and a culminating policy memo assignment that help to put theory into action.

Valuable coursework

The humanitarian coursework with Professor Amy Hepburn was phenomenal. I have never had a class that integrates reality within the classroom so seamlessly and the conversation amongst our participants was so rich, it was almost upsetting when we had to wind down for the day.  - Kayla King, The Pennsylvania State University

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Completion of the week-long intensive course with an associated research project will enable the student to earn 2.0 credits through the Duke University Graduate School. Participants should confirm that their home institutions will accept the 2.0 academic credits awarded in the course. After the participants have fulfilled all course requirements, they may request an official Duke transcript. Participants are responsible for insuring credit transfer to their home institution.


An Experience of a Lifetime

Alumni of the Duke Sanford Geneva Program often voice similar thoughts about the value of spending a summer in Geneva to study, work and play. People say things like "It was the experience of a lifetime."



Amy Hepburn

Director, J. Kirk Felsman Program on Children in Adversity, Felsman Fellowships Adjunct Faculty, Geneva Program on Global Governance & Policy, Humanitarian Action

Amy Hepburn has researched, published, and programmed extensively on issues affecting children in complex humanitarian emergencies including armed conflict and HIV/AIDS in the Balkans, Eastern and Southern Africa, and the Republic of Georgia.

Her projects include extensive work with international and local NGOs, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees in Geneva, Refugee Children’s Unit, the United States Department of State, Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, and the United States Agency for International Development, Office of HIV/AIDS.

Her research and programming interests include increasing the access and quality of education for girls in resource poor settings and the holistic care of children in complex humanitarian emergencies-- particularly those orphaned by HIV/AIDS in eastern and southern Africa and/or affected by armed conflict.

Ms. Hepburn co-directed the Duke University-HEI Graduate Program on Global Governance and Policy in Geneva, Switzerland from 2001-2005. She currently teaches the Human Rights and Humanitarian Action course as part of the Duke Program.

Hepburn is a Senior Research Fellow in the Duke University, Health Inequalities Program, where she consults on programming and research for children living outside family care. She is Adjunct Faculty, Lecturer in International Affairs, at The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs where she teaches a course on the care and protection of children in complex humanitarian emergencies.

She is a Visiting Lecturer at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy where she is also the Executive Director of the J. Kirk Felsman Program on Children in Adversity.  Ms. Hepburn currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area.  She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees with honors from Duke University.

Gavin Mark Yamey

Gavin Mark Yamey

Hymowitz Family Professor of the Practice in Global Health

Gavin Yamey, MD, MPH, trained in clinical medicine at Oxford University and University College London, medical journalism and editing at the BMJ and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was Deputy Editor of the Western Journal of Medicine, Assistant Editor at the BMJ, a founding Senior Editor of PLOS Medicine, and the Principal Investigator on a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the launch of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. In 2009, he was awarded a Kaiser Family Mini-Media Fellowship in Global Health Reporting to examine the barriers to scaling up low cost, low tech health tools in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

Dr. Yamey serves on two international health commissions, the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health and the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. He has been an External Advisor to the WHO and to TDR, the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. Dr. Yamey has published extensively on global health, neglected diseases, health policy, and disparities in health and has been a frequent commentator on National Public Radio.

Before joining Duke, Dr. Yamey led the Evidence-to-Policy Initiative in the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and was an Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatics at the UCSF School of Medicine.