From D.C. to Paris, home in Durham, to large Zoom gatherings: here's a list of all upcoming events for alumni and friends. We hope you will join us. 


Sanford Serves - 100 hours of service for 100 years of duke
January through may 2024

Terry Sanford is one of North Carolina and Duke’s most influential, servant-minded figures, known for his outrageous ambition and belief in service learning. He dedicated his life to ethical leadership and public life, qualities that form the core of the Duke Sanford school’s mission. In honor of Duke’s Centennial and the Sanford School’s namesake, we are inviting Duke alumni from all over the world to join us in committing to 100 hours of public service.

We invite our alumni to come together around a public service mission and service-learning opportunity of your choosing to commit your time and resources to addressing this opportunity, and to reflect on how you, as an engaged citizen, can show leadership in moving your community forward.

Who: Duke Alumni and Friends

When: January – May 2024

How: Collectively, we will serve 100 hours, whether you set aside 30 minutes or 3 hours, your time will help us reach our goal!

Why: We believe in planting seeds of change within our communities. Our almost 10,000 alumni are scattered around the world, and through this initiative, can come together to fuel meaningful change and inspire civic engagement in our communities.

Click Here to Join the Initiative and Learn More


Select Past Events

Explore photos, details (and occasionally recordings!) of some of our recent alumni events.


Duke Alums Engage for Middle Tennessee Youth in Foster Care 

On May 19,Duke Nashville partnered with Sanford Serves to support young people in foster care by donating items such shampoo, toothbrushes, bottled water, notebooks, and blankets, for youth exiting foster care as well as children entering foster care.

Donations collected were given to Youth Villages of Middle Tennessee and distributed to young people around graduation time in June.


Duke Sanford Summer Social Featuring Special Sanford Campus Guests

On May 15, we invited Duke public policy alumni, students, and friends to join us for a summer gathering on the Duke in DC rooftop.

The event comprised DC-based alumni, recently graduated students just moving to DC, and students interning in DC for the summer. 

To view event photos click here. 




Who is Selling Your Personal Data? How Do Data Brokers and The California Delete Act Play a Role?

On May 6 the Sanford School took the lead in analyzing the data brokerage ecosystem and proposing policy solutions including those in the California Delete Act. Alumni and friends joined Professor David Hoffman for dinner as he discussed his Technology Policy Lab’s data brokerage research and the role that capital investment and innovation can play in reducing the risks to individuals and society. 


Duke Alums Engage: 2nd Annual Book Drive and Pop-Up Sale, Benefiting Turning the Page   

From April 1 to April 27 we held a pop-up book sale and drive for the Greater D.C. Region 

Sanford Serves co-sponsored the opportunity alongside DukeDC.

To showcase the outstanding public service contributions of Sanford alumnus Jason King, and in honor of Duke's Centennial, this project is also co-sponsored by Sanford Serves.


The Evolving Relationship Between the Press and the Public: A Conversation with Frank Bruni

On April 18th Duke Sanford Alumni and friends gathered for an informal discussion held by Sanford professor and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, How has the relationship between the press and the public changed over the past 50 years? What has driven those changes, and what are the consequences of it? 

A conversation that delved into the state of journalism and political discourse as we approach the 2024 election.  



Caste: The Origins of our discontent - virtual book discussion

n March 6, Duke alumni joined us for a discussion centered around Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents book. Cassandra Boyd, Sanford’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, facilitated the discussion. Why did we select this book? Wilkerson was recently on campus giving a lecture and this was a way to bring a bit of campus to our alumni everywhere.


Sanford Alumni and Student Mixer

On Feb 27, Duke Alumni located in the Triangle who work in the government or non-profit-related sectors - Joined us for an alumni-student networking reception. This was a great opportunity to see old friends as well as help students learn from alumni working in the policy space. 

Click Here to View Event Photos


Inaugural Black Policy Conference hosted by the Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Policy in Living Color at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy

Feb. 23 and 24 served as a momentous occasion and a unique opportunity for our alumni to connect with current students, faculty, and staff to reconnect, and actively engage in thought-provoking discussions surrounding domestic and international policy issues.

Specifically, alumni were invited to attend the Black Alumni Mixer at Proximity Brewing Company on Saturday, February 24.

Click Here to View Event Photos


Sanford ALumni in D.C. join us for Alumni Engagement 101 - Why? How?

Duke Sanford alumni came together to meet and mingle with other recent grads, along with Duke Public Policy alumni in D.C. who serve as regional leaders and engage as Duke volunteers. It was a great space to network amongst local alumni in the region and learn about exciting opportunities at Sanford.

This event was sponsored by the Sanford Development and Alumni Relations Team and was targeted at Duke public policy alumni (public policy undergrads and graduates from Sanford grad degree programs) who graduated in 2019 or later, and all alumni working in policy or policy-related roles.


A business breakfast with Ronnie Chatterji
At duke in D.C.

The Duke D.C. Professional Development Committee invited alumni and current parents to a conversation with Ronnie Chatterji, Fuqua and Sanford Professor of Business and Public Policy and former White House CHIPS coordinator for President Biden.

Discussions included issues at the intersection of academia, public policy, and business while investigating the most important forces shaping our economy and society.

The conversation was moderated by Todd Horst ‘91, P'23,


SANFORD ALUMNI IN Singapore joined Dean Judith Kelley in Singapore
for a conference

Sanford’s Dean Judith Kelley was in Singapore for a conference and connected with local alumni while she was there. The Duke Sanford family provides networking opportunities no matter where you are. 



Sanford ALumni in South America joined Professor Jay Pearson for lunch at La Dicha restuarant

Sanford Professor Jay Pearson will in South America to conduct some site visits to advance his research. He was gracious enough to let us know that he would be in Santiago for a few days in December and welcomed the opportunity to connect with alumni while he was there. Professor Pearson was joined by several alumni for a lovely lunch. 


Arts Policy and Leadership After 2020

On Nov. 17 Sanford School of Public Policy's Hart Leadership Program director, Professor Andrew Nurkin, held a discussion focused on leadership and the arts in a post-2020 world. Answering the questions, how does public policy shape our experience of the arts? What kind of leadership do the arts require now? How might the arts help us reimagine public life?

The Duke Sanford Development and Alumni Relations team, along with Dean Judith Kelley and the Duke South Florida Regional Group, held a mixer to focus on looking forward while exploring these topics. The event was a great networking opportunity for Duke alumni and friends in the area.

Click here to view the event photos.


The 2024 Election, One Year Out

As we approach the one-year countdown to the 2024 election, the campaign for the presidency is already in full swing—but many big questions remain unanswered. Are we headed inevitably toward a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump? What developments over the next year could determine the outcome of the presidential race and the contest for control of Congress? And what implications will 2024 have for the future of American democracy?

Duke’s Polis: Center for Politics and the Duke Triangle alumni chapter along with award-winning journalist John Harwood (’78) held an exclusive conversation about these questions and more, featuring two leading national political strategists: Sarah Longwell (President and CEO of Longwell Partners and Publisher of The Bulwark) and Michael Podhorzer (Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former political director of the AFL-CIO).

The special event was open to all members of the Duke community, Duke alumni, and the general public.  or further questions, please contact Meg Bittle at meg.bittle@duke.edu.



Relationships, Representation, and Recruitment - How To Be Our Authentic Selves

On Oct. 26, Professor Jay Pearson held a presentation to explore relationships and representation in our academic and professional lives. Inviting alumni and students to explore ways that people or organizations can create space for people to express their authentic selves.

The event was held in collaboration with Sanford’s Career Services Office, Sanford's DEI team, and Sanford’s Development & Alumni Relations Office. The event was open to all students and Sanford alumni but focused on those that hold underrepresented/historically marginalized identities, including Black, Indigenous, and students/alumni of color, first-generation students/alumni, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse students/alumni, students/alumni with a disability, students/alumni of varying gender identity and expression, and other populations.


How Does Dismantling Structural Racism Impact the US's National Identity?

Sanford Professor Jay Pearson led a discussion focused on how structural inequity, structural racism, and systemic racism lead to health inequities. The Sanford Development and Alumni Relations team, along with the Duke NY Regional Group was joined by Duke Alumni and friends of Duke for an engaging discussion, learning alongside each other, and networking session.

Click here to view the event gallery. 


Duke Forever Learning Institute: The Ethics of Helping

On Sep. 21, Abdullah Antepli - Associate Professor of the Practice, Sanford School of Public Policy, and Eric Mlyn - Lecturer and Distinguished Faculty Fellow posed the question, is there a “right” way to volunteer? Are good intentions more important than good outcomes? In the session, they weighed the complexities of ethics in volunteering and interrogated perceptions of what it means to be a good volunteer.

Click here to see past FLI sessions. 



On Aug. 10, Duke alumni, parents, and friends were invited to a gathering in Nantucket. Sanford Board of Visitors members and hosts Lori Cashman T'94, Kathy Lieb WC ’69, and Liz Star, along with Dean Judith Kelley, spent time networking and discussing Duke and the Sanford School of Public Policy during a fantastic evening.

Click here to see all the event photos. 


Climate & Sustainability Reception on the Rooftop

On July 20, Duke Univeristy held it's Climate and Sustainabilty reception on the rooftop at Duke In D.C. Climate and sustainability professionals, Duke faculty, staff and alums in D.C. got together alongside former Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment Toddi Steelman, the vice president and vice provost for climate and sustainability who is leading the Duke Climate Commitment, to discuss the climate issues facing our country and possible solutions. 


Duke Politics and Policy Network (DPPN) Summer Happy Hour

On July 20th The Duke Politics and Policy Network held a  Summer Happy Hour at the Dacha Beer Garden in Washington D.C. Duke alums of all ages who work in politics or policy came together for bipartisan conversation and fellowship, made up of Duke students, parents, and friends.

The Duke Global Policy Program in Geneva extended an invitation to our Geneva-area alumni for a culminating Reception

On June 30th at Brasserie Des Halles, the Duke Global Program held an invitational to celebrate and honor Geneva-area alumni, the outstanding achievements of students, and program partners – without whom this program would not be possible.

The reception marked the 20th summer in Geneva, the Duke Global Policy Program in Geneva aims to foster a vibrant community of dedicated individuals who are passionate about shaping global policies and making a positive impact in the world. The evening was a memorable occasion filled with keynote speeches, networking opportunities, and heartfelt celebrations.

Click here to learn more about The Duke Global Policy (DGP) Program in Geneva.


The Duke Sanford Summer Social Featuring Dean Judith Kelley  

On May 18th we invited Duke public policy alumni, students, and friends to join us for a summer gathering on the Duke in DC rooftop. The event provided an exceptional opportunity to connect and engage with fellow members of the Duke family in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Dean Judith Kelley welcomed our guests and shared updates on all things Sanford.  The ambiance was infused with a sense of excitement as Duke public policy alumni, hailing from various backgrounds and career stages, reunited to celebrate their shared academic and professional journey. Additionally, the gathering offered a warm welcome to recently graduating students who had just begun their new chapter.

Click here to view full event gallery. 

FLI logo

Duke Alumni Forever learning institute Climate Changemakers series: The ECONOMY OF CLIMATE CHANGE

On April 18th Alumni were invited virtually to join our experts including Sanford Lecturer Sara Sutherland as they discuss the impacts of climate change on our economic structure. With likely billions of dollars in property damage and the breakdown of transportation networks, our panel in discussed potential solutions.


Black Sanford Connects: Alumni and Student Reception

On April 6th, Alumni and students joined together for a reception sponsored by the Sanford Development and Alumni Relations office and supported by the student group Policy In Living Color. Black Sanford Connects was an opportunity for current Black Sanford graduate students to meet and network with Black Sanford graduate program alumni or Black Duke alumni working in public policy.

The purpose of this event was to build authentic relationships and share genuine experiences. 


SLAC Alumni Mixer

SLAC DC Alumni event

On March 16th, the Sanford Latin American and Caribbean Students' Association (@Sanford LAC) had the privilege of organizing a networking trip to Washington D.C. for students to connect with alumni from the MIDP and MPP programs at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. During this trip, we had the opportunity to connect with outstanding alumni who are making a difference in multilateral institutions such as the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), World Bank, IMF, and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). We also learned about the important advocacy work that national institutions like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), UNIDOSUS, and NALEO are doing to protect the human rights of the Latino community in the US.

The trip was a rewarding experience for everyone who participated, providing professional and personal insights that reinforced our commitment to contributing to sustainable development in Latin America and serving and empowering our communities.


Sanford Career Services Alumni-Student Networking Reception

On February 27th, Sanford hosted an alumni-student networking reception. It had been over 1,100 days since Duke Sanford held an in-person student/alumni mixer. It was an excellent opportunity for our undergraduate, MPP, and MIDP students and local alumni to get together and discuss current policy issues, post-grad life, and networking.  

To see photos, click here. 


Duke women's weekend and Sanford panel

womens weekend.jpg

On March 2nd roughly 75 Duke alumnae and students came together at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy to participate in the Women in Policy panel and discussion. Moderated by Visiting Egan Professor Margaret Sullivan, our wonderful panel consisting of Caitlin Durkovich, Amy Kramer, Tonya Robison, and Cathy Taylor shared their insight and engaged with the audience, discussing the issues and obstacles facing women in public policy. 

To see photos, click here. 

The 2022 Post-election panel: what just happened?

The post-Election panel was organized and coordinated by Duke DC Women Forums and co-sponsored by Duke Sanfords' development and alumni relations team.  Led by volunteers Jill Wilson B.S'98 and Catherine Abbott A.B'91, p'26. Featuring alumni speakers, John Harwood A.B.'78, Nia-Malika Henderson A.B.'96, and Neil Newhouse A.B.'74. The panel was a bi-partisan discussion about the midterm elections and key factors surrounding our electorate. To watch the full panel discussion click here.


Discourse for Democracy

FLI Logo

The Discourse For Democracy was a series of four virtual events presented by Duke Alumni Forever Learning Institute, sponsored by Duke Sanford's Development and Alumni Relations, and cosponsored by the POLIS: Centre for Politics. 

Discussing our Health

On November 1st, A panel of professors including Sanford Professor Kate Bundorf held a discussion about how much the government should be involved in providing care and legislating what care we seek. To watch the full discussion click here.

Our Pocketbooks

On October 18th, Sanford Professors Lisa Gennetian and Michael Munger shared the push and pull factors of our economy and how these factors influence our nation's and people's wealth. To watch the full discussion click here.

Discussing Our Boundaries

On October 4th, Sanford Professors Abdullah Antepli and Kenneth Rogerson, along with James Burnet PPS ‘98, participated in a panel about the fair and equitable ways for the nation to place limits on itself, its members, and outside actors. To watch the full discussion click here.

Discussing our Right to Vote

On September 13th, Sanford Professor Deondra Rose and alum Paul Brathwaite MPP ‘93, JD’96, P’26, held a discussion about the importance of voting for realizing the promise of our democracy for all. To watch the full discussion click here.


Picture from Charlotte event

A Discussion About Election Integrity

On October 12th, Sanford held an event in Charlotte NC, to discuss election integrity. The right to vote is a fundamental tenant of our American democracy. However, over the past few years, America’s faith that our electoral process is fair and free has been shaken. Accusations of electoral fraud, voter suppression and intimidation, unbalanced campaign finance rules, gerrymandering, and international tampering have called into question our electoral integrity. Sanford Professor Pope 'Mac' McCorkle led a discussion exploring some of these accusations and the potential impact. Big thank you to our host Elizabeth Starr, we were also joined by John Wester JD'72 and Dan McCready T '05, both with experience in Charlotte politics.

Can We Arrest Our Way out of the Epidemic of Gun Violence?

On October 26th, We had an in-person event in Chicago, to discuss the current gun control practices in Chicago, Durham, and Boston, and promising upcoming reforms led by Professor Philip Cook who made the case that at the very least it would be helpful to improve the arrest and conviction rate from its current rock-bottom level and that there are ways to do just that. The clearance-by-arrest rate for homicide has declined dramatically over the past few decades, both in Chicago and nationwide. The greatest barrier to success in police investigations of violent crime is the lack of cooperation by victims and other witnesses. Big thank you to our host Terry Mascherin. Sanford's Board of Visitors.